Zero cement structural concrete: opportunity not threat

02 February 2015

The global construction market is expected to grow by over 70% by 2025 and so it is unlikely that demand for concrete, the most used construction material on the planet, is likely to decrease.

However, ordinary portland cement (OPC), a major component of concrete, is also the third highest manmade producer of CO2 and this has put considerable pressure on the industry to decrease its carbon emissions whilst meeting the ever-increasing demand for cement.

After many years of research and development, David Ball Group PLC recently launched the world’s first truly sustainable, zero cement structural concrete, Cemfree.

As with its blended counterparts, Cemfree is more durable than OPC. The patented activator is able to hydraulically activate GGBS at 95% concentration, providing an ultra-low carbon alternative to concrete mix designs that traditionally use OPC, and crucially, is also strong enough to be used in structural applications.

There are multiple Cemfree characteristics showing that the material outperforms its OPC and blended mix counterparts.

The launch of Cemfree is a good news story for the cement industry.

Cemfree cannot fully replace Portland cement as there are not enough raw materials to do so. However, by adopting Cemfree and using it to replace some of the global cement output, the industry has a real opportunity to improve its green credentials and reduce its CO2 emissions by as much as 25%.

The company has ambitious plans for Cemfree, which has already received industry awards including the coveted Skanska award in Supply Chain Green Solutions and the prestigious CONSTRUCT award for materials and product innovation.

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