Guidelines for concrete of the future

Claus  Pade

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Guidelines for concrete of the future

In August 2007, the Danish Technological Institute published two new Guidelines about self-compacting concrete, SCC, which is widely regarded as the concrete of the future. In the Guidelines, concrete producers and contractors can find good recommendations about using SCC and making concrete structures with SCC rather than conventional slump concrete

Concrete is the world’s most important construction material. In Denmark more than eight million tons of concrete are produced every year. There are several advantages when moving from traditional towards SCC Concrete. SCC has been proven to have a positive impact on the working environment and on the productivity of concrete casting. But in spite of the fact that more and more companies are starting to use SCC, there are still problems. The Guidelines, which were published as a result of the SCC consortium’s work in 2004-2007, are the first step on the way to help solving these problems.

- There has not until now existed publication about the practical use of SCC.
Therefore, I hope that concrete producers and contractors will find a lot of helpful and applicable tools in the Guidelines, says author and senior consultant Claus Vestergaard Nielsen from the Concrete centre at the Danish Technological Institute. He adds that the Guidelines indicate, amongst other things, which flow properties to be chosen to achieve a good result.

- SCC is the most promising innovation in the concrete industry for the last 20 years. Unlike traditional concrete it does not need vibration during casting. I am sure that SCC will make it easier for construction companies to retain their employees. Once concrete workers have tried working with this concrete material and felt its many advantages, they will only reluctantly go back to the traditional kind of concreting, says centre manager Mette Glavind from the Danish Technological Institute. She was formerly project leader of the SCC Consortium, which counted the major concrete players in Denmark, including MT Højgaard A/S.

And it is MT Højgaard A/S, the largest contractor in Denmark, which really appreciates the publication of the SCC Guidelines. MT Højgaard A/S believes that the Guidelines have given the concrete industry a technical boost and that they meet a great need for help to work with SCC and thereby ensure that the number of construction errors will drop on the building sites.

- I am very enthusiastic about SCC and regard it as the building material of the future. The Guidelines will help to disseminate knowledge about SCC and how to use it for the benefit of the working environment, productivity on the building site and the quality of structures in general. Moreover there is a pressing need for clear instructions and recommendations for using SCC so that construction partners talk the same language, says Lars Gredsted from MT Højgaard A/S, who was chairman of the SCC consortium’s steering committee.