New standard for alkali-activated cements

New standard for alkali-activated cements
Published: 13 May 2016

With the European market proving a barrier to Lucideon Ltd seeing its technology for alkali-activated cements entering the construction sector it has devised a new standard that will reduce raw material costs.

For several years Lucideon has been developing a proprietary and sustainable technology called MIDAR to create bonds for alkali-activated cements. MIDAR is a technology that uses a chemical reaction to bond together alkalis and aluminosilicate materials (both of which can be sourced cheaply or from waste streams, eg fly ash, waste glass) to form a rigid inorganic material. This technology can therefore be used to make solid or aerated building products.

Though technically authenticated to meet the requirements for many applications, the lack of acceptance by building standards of the MIDAR technology has proved to be a major hurdle when planning a route to the European market. However, BSI has now published a new standard, ‘Construction Materials – Alkali-Activated Cementitious Material and Concrete – Specification’, which will remove this obstacle.

The new standard defines raw material and product performance specifications. This gives manufacturers of construction materials the opportunity to develop products based on alkali-activated cement technologies, safe in the knowledge that they comply with a European standard of approval. The standard refers to, and benchmarks against a number of well used cement standards, thus ensuring consumer confidence in the new technology.

Rebecca Law, Development Scientist, Lucideon, said: “This new standard is an exciting opportunity for not only the construction sector but many other industries who can explore alternative raw materials in their products without fear of market rejection.

“With the help of our materials experts, manufacturers can develop products using alkali-activated cement technology. This could potentially improve the performance and reduce the raw material costs and carbon footprints of products. At Lucideon, we not only have the experience to develop a new formulation to meet client application requirements, but also the backing of our state-of-the-art laboratories to ensure that new products meet the EU standard.”

The MIDAR production process is not energy intensive, claims Lucideon. It utilises readily available, cost effective materials which make it a promising prospect for the construction sector, the company adds.