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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.

“Once approved, ASTM WK42602 may be applied to compare different lots or sources or to monitor changes in strength given by a single source of fly ash or natural pozzolan,” says Dr. Ivan Diaz-Loya, research engineer with Alexandria, Va.-based ash binder specialist CeraTech Inc., and a member of C01 and C09 on Concrete and Concrete Aggregates. 

Primary users of ASTM WK42602 will be construction materials producers, independent testing laboratories and academic research groups. “The proposed standard will help alkali activated materials to gain acceptance in the marketplace by making it easier to ensure that consumers are provided with a quality product,” Diaz-Loya affirms. “It will also help to validate and compare results between different research groups.”

C01.13 members hope development of ASTM WK42602 will lead to further test methods, practices and specifications for the material covered. Interested parties involved in the research or production of alkali activated fly ash or natural pozzolan products are invited to join in the ongoing development of ASTM WK42602. Contacts: Ivan Diaz-Loya, Ph.D, CeraTech, 443/524-4415, [email protected] (technical); Scott Orthey, 610/832-9730, [email protected] (staff liaison).

Global initial public offering investment adviser Renaissance Capital, Greenwich, Conn., reported last month that poor market conditions compelled Brazil’s Votorantim Industrial S.A. to withdraw an offering of shares in its largest business, Votorantim Cimentos S.A., earmarked for São Paulo Stock Exchange and New York Stock Exchange trading. A company statement added, “The current market conditions reinforce the low probability of a window of opportunity for the offering in the short term,” but indicated management is still considering a stock sale and will continue to monitor markets.

In an April 2013 preliminary prospectus filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Votorantim Industrial outlined an IPO—valued at up to $5.4 billion—for its multinational cement and concrete business, which reported 2012 sales of $4.6 billion. The conglomerate would have maintained a majority stake in Votorantim Cimentos, whose portfolio across the Americas, Africa, Asia and Europe spans 34 cement and 22 clinker grinding mills; 328 ready mixed and 13 mortar plants; plus, 84 aggregate and 61 limestone operations. Operating under the St Marys, Prairie Material and Prestige brands in Great Lakes and Florida markets, Toronto-based subsidiary Votorantim Cement North America accounts for nearly 20 percent of the parent company’s business.