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Martin Marietta Materials + Texas Industries

Martin Marietta Materials, Inc. and Texas Industries, Inc. announced in late January their boards’ unanimous approval of a definitive merger agreement under which Martin Marietta will acquire all outstanding shares of TXI common stock in a tax-free, stock-for-stock transaction. Based at existing Raleigh, N.C., headquarters and operating under the Martin Marietta Materials, Inc. banner, the combined entity will create a market-leading supplier of aggregates and heavy building materials, with low-cost, vertically integrated aggregate and targeted cement operations.

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Hess propels world leader in leader in product machinery

A merger of Burbach, Germany-based Hess Group, spanning namesake block & paver plus Schlosser-Pfeiffer pipe & precast machinery, and Top-Werk GmbH, parent of German peers SR-Schindler (concrete slab and coating) and Prinzing (pipe and drainage products), yields the world’s number one source of automated, manufactured-concrete production equipment.A merger of Burbach, Germany-based Hess Group, spanning namesake block & paver plus Schlosser-Pfeiffer pipe & precast machinery, and Top-Werk GmbH, parent of German peers SR-Schindler (concrete slab and coating) and Prinzing (pipe and drainage products), yields the world’s number one source of automated, manufactured-concrete production equipment.

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CREATIVE TENSION

Full-scale prototypes in the Topocast Lab netted the finished Cast Thicket, shown here in the UT Arlington School of Architecture Gallery.St. Louis design studio yo_cy took first place in the APPLIED: Research through Fabrication competition with Cast Thicket, a precast piece that artists Kenneth Tracy and Christine Yogiaman dub “an exploration in tensile concrete.”

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ULTRA HIGH PERFORMANCE CONCRETE GUIDE

UHPC has been commercially available for more than a decade. A contributor to NPCA’s UHPC White Paper, Lafarge Group has promoted its branded mix, Ductal, for precast and cast-in-place applications around the world.The National Precast Concrete Association recently published an overview of ultra high performance concrete (UHPC), a material on the leading edge of innovation with potential to expand producers’ architectural and structural offerings. UHPC mix designs vary. Reinforced with high-carbon metallic fibers, structural product formulation can achieve compressive strengths up to 29,000 psi and flexural strengths up to 2,900 psi. UHPC for architectural elements typically incorporates polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) fibers, and can achieve compressive strengths up to 17,000 psi and flexural strengths up to 2,900 psi. Due to the material’s superior compressive and flexural properties, the need for passive reinforcing can be eliminated or greatly reduced, depending on the application. UHPC is also highly moldable and replicates form materials with extreme precision.

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PAVEMENT-VEHICLE INTERACTION II

PAVEMENT-VEHICLE INTERACTION IIIn its “PVI Mechanistic Model Gen II” research brief (December 2013) CSHub extends earlier observation of pavement-vehicle interaction, which impacts truck fuel consumption and, in turn, concrete and asphalt life cycle assessment. The new model can account for the impact of temperature and vehicle speed, plus other pavement structural and material properties, on fuel consumption, and is thereby applicable to viscoelastic (e.g. asphalt concrete) pavements. Model Gen II provides what CSHub staff affirms is “a rigorous tool for comparative studies and LCA of the roadway network.”

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