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Oldcastle APG/Jewell bagging plant raises bar for safety, productivity

Sources: Oldcastle Inc. Atlanta; CP staff

Jewell, an Oldcastle APG company serving Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana and Oklahoma, anticipates start up by year’s end of a Burnet, Texas, packaging plant for concrete or mortar mixes and companion materials. Serving central Texas markets, the 23,000-sq.-ft. facility is located on 15 acres, complete with quarry. It joins Jewell operations in Hurst, Katy, Rosenberg and Waco, Texas, plus seven distribution facilities near Austin, Dallas/Ft. Worth and Houston.

Read more: Oldcastle APG/Jewell bagging plant raises bar for safety, productivity

Nano-silica admixture tempers heat of hydration, boosts CSH formation

Sources: Silicone Solutions, Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio; CP staff

Adhesive, sealant, gel and coating specialist Silicone Solutions plans a 2018 World of Concrete launch for a nano-silica admixture that effectively converts Types I and II portland cement to a Type IV low heat binder. CoolCure skews hydration chemistry to calcium silicate hydrate or CSH, the principal binding agent in concrete, to the detriment of calcium hydroxide or Ca(OH)2, the heat of hydration source.

“Type I and Type II portland cements comprise both dicalcium and tricalcium silicates,” explains CoolCure developer and Silicone Solutions President David Brassard, who is commercializing the admixture through a subsidiary, New Technology Solutions LLC. “Tricalcium silicates are the most reactive, generating high heat of hydration or exotherm. In contrast, Type IV portland cement contains mostly dicalcium silicates, which are slower reacting than tricalcium silicates and generate less than one-third the heat during hydration.

“By mimicking a Type IV cement reaction in a Type I or Type II portland cement mixture, engineers and contractors will see more controlled, cooler hardening and curing phases compared to conventional concrete. Without high exotherms, they can eliminate or significantly reduce thermal cracking, curling and distortion. CoolCure’s balancing of hydration reactions also efficiently wets out the matrix and reduces bleed water.”

The admixture is dosed in two parts per cubic yard: a silica-rich liquid at up to 1 gal. plus a dry catalyst at up to 1 lb. per 100 lbs. of cement. The nano-silica in CoolCure bears the same basic chemical profile as silica sand or silicon dioxide (SiO2), but at one-millionth a typical grain’s gradation. At 1/1000th or smaller, nano-silicas likewise exhibit a sharp size contrast to portland cement or silica fume particles. When used in place of 1 lb. of sand, nano-silicas create as much as 100,000 times the prospective bonding surface in a concrete matrix.

New Technology Solutions has enlisted Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia ready mixed producer Arrow Concrete, along with Essroc Cement and Lehigh Hanson, plus Intertek PSI of Cleveland in CoolCure trials. Conventional cylinder and 4-ft. square cube specimens have shown how the admixture—measured against plain controls—reduces heat of hydration; extends mixes’ working and placement window; and, increases compressive strength 40 to 100 percent in finished slabs and structures. Ca(OH)2 reduction results in finished concrete of under 12.4 pH, lowering the potential for delayed alkali silica reactivity observed in slabs or structures where pH is 12.5 or higher. —


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Lafarge Canada veteran Thibault heads realigned LH Region North America

Sources: LafargeHolcim Ltd., Zurich; CP staff

LafargeHolcim has elevated René Thibault from Western Canada chief executive officer to the post of Head Region North America and Executive Committee member. He succeeds Pascal Casanova, who is leaving the producer after serving as the charter head of post-merger, North American Lafarge and Holcim businesses.

Read more: Lafarge Canada veteran Thibault heads realigned LH Region North America

Tindall elevates Force to CEO, next Lowndes generation to chairman

Sources: Tindall Corp., Spartanburg, S.C.; CP staff

Tindall President and Chief Operating Officer Greg Force has been named chief executive officer, while Vice Chairman William Lowndes IV transitions to chairman of the board. Force has served as president and COO since 2004 after joining the producer in 1988. A past (2012) Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute chairman and PCI Titan of the Industry (2014), he holds a bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering from Lehigh University and an MBA from Georgia College and State University.

Read more: Tindall elevates Force to CEO, next Lowndes generation to chairman

PCI opens Fire Resistance standard to comment, clarifies prescriptive vs. rational design

Sources: Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute, Chicago; CP staff

PCI is accepting comments through January 31 on the proposed Specification for Fire Resistance of Precast/Prestressed Concrete. The PCI MNL 124-18 standard will update 2011 design procedures and address two precast/prestressed concrete engineering approaches: “calculated” fire resistance, encompassing prescriptive provisions with tables for selecting concrete mass or protection of steel; and, “rational design,” a true fire resistance calculation procedure referenced in PCI manuals and the charter International Building Code (2000).

Read more: PCI opens Fire Resistance standard to comment, clarifies prescriptive vs. rational design