Mike McDonald, manager of AfriSam’s Centre of Product Excellence, says that he expects demand for better-performing cements with a low clinker content to grow in South Africa. This is considering the proposed introduction of a carbon tax in South Africa commencing in 2017, and the 'green' building and infrastructure movements that have brought a heightened awareness of the embodied energy and carbon of building materials.
AfriSam’s Centre of Product Excellence has itself developed a slag cement with high strength and yet containing less than 50 per cent clinker, reducing its CO2 footprint. Launched in 2010, AfriSam’s Eco Cement offers high workability while allowing a smooth, defect free finish for concrete, masonry and plasterwork. This high performance cement also reduces the heat of hydration in mass concrete.
"Intervention is, therefore, essential, and some of AfriSam’s milestones with hybrid products include the first commercialisation of a cement with a 42.5 strength class containing less than a 50 per cent clinker component," said Mike McDonald, manager of AfriSam’s Centre of Product Excellence.
The incorporation of slag is further beneficial in that it improves the durability characteristics of cement, reducing permeability, improving resistance to chemical attack and inhibiting rebar corrosion. All these characteristics improve concrete towards becoming a more sustainable construction material.