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Archive for August, 2011

Pre-cast posts

Pre-cast posts


Pre-cast parking lot bumpers

Pre-cast parking lot bumpers


Pre-cast pier footings

Pre-cast pier footings


This is a follow-up post that’s closely related to yesterday’s blog post. The same geopolymer technology discussed by Building & Construction & Research & Consultancy (BCRC) could be used for these other applications. I’ve listed them separately here because of the obvious potential for cottage-scale production. In many parts of the world these products and many similar ones are made with Portland due to the lack of rot-resistant wood and because steel quickly rusts in rainy climates. Steel reinforced geopolymer would create superior quality products that outperform current Portland products.

Image source: John Hagan Concrete
Image source: Inspecting the World
Image source: Penn Jersey Building Materials

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Geopolymer piles would be stronger and more durable than Portland

Geopolymer piles would be stronger and more durable than Portland


Geopolymer’s superior strength and performance in comparison to Portland is leading to the development of more and more products. Companies such as BCRC in Australia are exploring numerous possibilities. Please let me know of other companies developing similar products.

“BCRC’s team is at the leading edge of Geopolymer research and is perfectly placed to assist companies wanting to take a lead in the lucrative advanced materials market.

BCRC’s undertake market assessments, provide technical review and assist in developing product and marketing literature for admixtures, additives, repair materials, SCM’s, fibres, cement systems, grouts, mortars, concretes, construction systems & light weight products. BCRC are leaders in Geopolymers and can manage a company’s rapid development of geopolymer products. BCRC combine technical, construction and marketing expertise to assess product development requirements.

Geopolymers were reinvented in the 1970’s but development work has remained of a confidential nature. It has been targeted at specific products for specific companies. Development costs were high but recouped by the mass production in items such as cars. But now development of products is a relatively low cost. Even moderate size companies can afford to become involved.

Sewage pipe: This is an ideal Geopolymer product as factory production will enable accelerated curing to give high throughput and eliminate the cost of pipe liners to protect against Hydrogen Sulphide induced acid attack.
Culverts: Culverts often transmit contaminated water leading to chemical attack. Geopolymers will provide a high degree of protection.
Precast facades: Geopolymers will enable lightweight durable panels to be used to reduce the load on the structure and have a double effect on cost reductions.
Precast Beams & Columns: There is an increasing trend to using precast beams and columns to reduce construction programmes and minimize on site labour. Geopolymers will enable quicker production and reduced member sizes due to the higher load capacities.
Precast Piles: Geopolymers are particularly suited to the use of precast piles in Acid Sulphate Soils, a major issue in NSW and Queensland.”

Source: Building & Construction & Research & Consultancy
Image source: Marine Construction Services

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I imagine we’ll be seeing a lot more labs like this as schools and businesses race to develop the best geopolymer products. Think how much money is spent on Portland cement (it’s the most traded commodity in the world after water). Geopolymer is superior to Portland in many ways and now that money is starting to pour into geopolymer. This switchover to geopolymer is going to effect all aspects of construction. As usual, those who are knowledgeable about its use will benefit the most.

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Here’s another whole market opportunity. This type of pre-cast panel work is primarily geared toward commercial construction. Text below from FlyAshBricksInfo.com.

Improved structural efficiency in terms of strength/weight ratios resulting load reduction on the structure and substructure, fewer structural components resulting in more usable space in the structure, a reduction in the number and size of reinforcements, increased flexibility in absorbing strains and improved thermal properties minimizing the effects of differential temperatures resulting in building energy conservation as well as improved fire/spalling mitigation.

It is ideally suited for precast concrete products as larger units can be handled with the same handling equipment or manually for same size units, resulting in speed and economy in construction. These units in addition to smaller ones can be lifted or managed by down-sizing machinery resulting in reducing site cranage requirements and maximizing the number of concrete elements on trucks without exceeding highway load limits reducing transportation delivery cost.

FlyAshBricksInfo.com

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Wiki — Concrete Leveling (mudjacking)
“Concrete leveling is a procedure that attempts to correct an uneven concrete surface by altering the foundation that the surface sits upon. It is a cheaper alternative to having replacement concrete poured, and commonly performed at small businesses and private homes.”

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Geopolymer proppants by GeoProppants Inc.

Geopolymer proppants by GeoProppants Inc.


GeoProppants Inc. is a research and development company that owns and is continuing to develop a unique lightweight Geopolymer Proppant with technical characteristics that have been sought after for years. This revolutionary proppant, GeoProp, is manufactured with a proprietary chemical and mechanical process that eliminates the need for sintering. This allows us to adjust critical properties such as specific gravity and crush strength while retaining near perfect roundness and sphericity.

From Wiki:
While the main industrial use of hydraulic fracturing is in stimulating production from oil and gas wells, hydraulic fracturing is also applied to:

- Stimulating groundwater wells
- Preconditioning rock for caving or inducing rock to cave in mining
- As a means of enhancing waste remediation processes (usually hydrocarbon waste or spills) or spills.
- Dispose of waste by injection into suitable deep rock formations
- As a method to measure the stress in the earth.

GeoProppants Inc.

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Discovering and learning about new business opportunities is a common thread throughout many of the posts on this blog. Like I said in the previous blog post, I believe there’s enormous potential in geopolymer micro concrete roofing since millions of homes use this type of roofing. It’s very practical. Production techniques range from extremely simple hand-made processes to expensive machinery, so you can choose what’s affordable and appropriate for your situation.

Hand made roofing tiles

Hand made roofing tiles


Making roofing tiles by hand

Making roofing tiles by hand

Image source: Humanity Development Library 2.0: Appropriate Building Materials http://www.nzdl.org/gsdlmod?e=d-00000-00—off-0hdl–00-0—-0-10-0—0—0direct-10—4——-0-1l–11-en-50—20-about—00-0-1-00-0-0-11-1-0utfZz-8-10&cl=CL1.1&d=HASH70c81f6386a2600bdfdd3f.9.12&gt=2

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Micro concrete roofing tiles could be made with geopolymer

Micro concrete roofing tiles could be made with geopolymer


Making these tiles with geopolymer has enormous potential. Note an earlier blog post about two companies who are ready to bring this to market. Text below from Sustainable-Buildings.org.

Micro Concrete Roofing (MCR) Tiles are a cost effective, aesthetic and durable alternative sloping roof technology. Micro-concrete roofing (MCR) technology meets the growing demand for high quality roofing. MCR tiles are a cost-effective and extremely versatile roofing material. MCR tiles can be used on steel and wood under structure to make attractive roofs on residences, farm houses, gazebos, highway constructions (dhabas), verandahs and pavilions. In areas with heavy rainfall, MCR tiles are used extensively for cladding material offering both waterproofing and aesthetic appeal. It has been used extensively in cost effective housing schemes, workplaces, restaurants and poultry farms. Micro-concrete roofing tiles are ideally suited to replace thatch and fired clay tiles in rural areas.

MCR tiles are made by vibrating an optimum mix of cement, sand, fine stone aggregate and water on a vibrating table. They are put through rigorous tests for water tightness, shape, size etc. MCR tiles can be made in two distinctive profiles; Pan and Roman and an infinite range of colours. MCR tiles are being marketed under different brand names such as TARAcrete, Duracrete, Swisscrete, MYCON tiles in different regions of the country by leading product promoters.

Applications
A variety of roof designs for farm and country houses, bungalows, verandahs and pavilions are possible with MCR tiles. They have also been used on industrial sheds, workshops and restaurants. MCR tiles allow total creative freedom to designers, architects and engineers to create a variety of roof forms.

Unique Features
MCR tiles offer many advantages over other sloping roof materials such as G. I. sheets, Mangalore tiles, wooden shingles, slate and asbestos. MCR tiles:
• Offer more value for money.
• Are highly durable – they have the life of concrete.
• Are lighter than other roofing tiles – they require less understructure.
• Can be easily installed.
• Can be colored to user’s preference.
• Reduce heat gain.
• Do not make noise during rains.
• Do not contain asbestos fibres.

Source: Micro Concrete Roofing Tiles
Image source: Micro Concrete Roofing Tiles

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Next Home Generation appears to be a computer generated compilation of videos, links, images, links to resources and so on. It lacks a personal touch, but nevertheless is quite useful. Take a look and let us know what you think.

Next Home Generation

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HySSIL is developing a new lightweight roof tile product with a major US roof tile company which is being trialed for commercial production in early 2010. HySSIL is an acronym for ‘high strength, structural, insulative, lightweight’ building materials.

HySSIL is the owner of intellectual property for a novel building material developed originally by Australia’s premier research and development organisation, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO). Patent applications have been lodged internationally and patents have been granted in Australia, New Zealand and China.

This current cementitious product range has the following key advantages:
- Approximately 40% to 50% lighter than a conventional concrete panel of similar strength;
- Thermal properties that are three to five times more insulative than conventional concrete; and
- Can be used in walling systems to produce lower embodied energy and greenhouse gas emission solutions.

HySSIL

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