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The Irish Annex to the European specification, performance, production and conformity of concrete, IS EN 206, recommends CEM III/B cement for acid rich environments containing between 66 to 80% GGBS. However, BS 8500, the UK annex to EN 206 and the British Research Establishment (BRE) Special Digest 1, recommends CEM III/A cement with a GGBS range of 36-65%. This project investigated the performance of a new CEM III/A cement produced by Ecocem Ireland in concretes exposed to such environments using an extensive suite of laboratory tests.
In Ireland, up to €5.8bn will be invested to provide fresh drinking water and clean wastewater. Concrete deterioration in wastewater treatment systems is mostly caused by sulphates and sulphuric acids found in aggressive chemical additives used. Due to the constant operational nature of these facilities, poor concrete performance leads to shut-downs with serious environmental consequences. The Department of Agriculture requires that all farm based concrete complies with the Nitrates Directive and is certified to IS EN 206. This is only possible by using concrete mixes with adequate durability capable of withstanding the harsh environments found in farms, like silage pits, milking parlour floors, etc.
The results from this study show that the CEM III/A cement used performed as well, or better than, other commonly used cements for these environments. It performed particularly well in mass changes following exposure to sulphuric acid and sulphates with higher compressive strengths too
Thompson, D., Holmes, N. & Reddy J. (2016) Evaluating a new CEM III/A cement for concretes exposed to harsh acid rich environments, Civil Engineering Research in Ireland 2016 NUI Galway , 29-30 August.