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2013 construction starts on pace for 6 percent gain

New construction starts are forecast to reach $506 billion, according to the Midyear Update to the 2013 Construction Outlook from McGraw Hill Construction, New York.

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Robust, two-ply packaging secures cement for ‘drop shipment’ near South Pole

South Korea’s Ssangyong Cement Industrial Co. Ltd. enlisted its packaging supplier to produce an 88-lb. (40 kg) cement bag equal to rough handling en route to Antarctica research stations. Taemyung Industrial Co. Ltd. turned to two-ply Mondi Kraft Advantage sack, exhibiting what Vienna-based manufacturer Mondi Group notes is high tensile energy absorption and porosity. The product’s capacity to replace three-ply alternatives nets material savings exceeding 25 percent.

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NCMA gauges thermal loading effect on CMU structural integrity

National Concrete Masonry Association staff is working on simplified fire loading finite element models, capturing the thermal effects of applied heat to concrete masonry units. The rudimentary models are being used to calibrate modeling/results to accurately capture the expected heat transfer response through individual units. Results will be extrapolated to larger wall assemblies, where simulated full-scale fire testing will be modeled and compared against existing physical test reports.

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ASTM C01 examines alkali activated binder versus natural pozzolan testing

ASTM International Committee C01 on Cement is developing a standard to help create data for comparing the compressive strength of alkali activated fly ash and natural pozzolans. ASTM WK42602, Test Method for Compressive Strength of Alkali Activated Coal Fly Ash and Raw or Calcined Natural Pozzolan Cement Mortars (Using 2-in. or [50 mm] Cube Specimens), is under the jurisdiction of Subcommittee C01.13 on Special Cements.

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Report tracks minor gain in 2012 precast shipments, better 2013 prospects

After several years of stagnation, the precast concrete industry is turning the corner in recovery from the Great Recession, with the National Precast Concrete Association 2013 Benchmarking Report indicating 2 percent higher volume over the prior year.

Read more: Report tracks minor gain in 2012 precast shipments, better 2013 prospects