Strabag and MC-Bauchemie win first prize for UHPC concrete in Slovakia
SAVT, the Slovakian branch of ERMCO (European Ready Mixed Concrete Organization), this year ran a competition for ultra-high-performance concrete (UHPC) to be developed with classic raw materials and aggregates but without any additives. The winners were announced at the beginning of October 2017 before an audience of around 240 delegates attending the SAVT-organized Concrete Conference, and it was Strabag AG and MC-Bauchemie who took the award, beating off the competition by producing a concrete formulation with a compressive strength of 147.4 MPa – the highest of all entries.
Strabag AG is one of the largest construction companies in Slovakia and has been collaborating successfully with MC for many years. MC supplies admixtures and also supports Strabag with concrete technology know-how. Over the past two years, Strabag and MC-Bauchemie have invested significant time and money in the research and development of formulations for UHPC concrete. This research work was initially supported by Mathias Reck, concrete technologist at MC in its Leipzig Service Centre. Later on, an MC team consisting of Michal Lehký, Milan Řičica and Martin Struk worked with the Strabag team led by Stanislav Juriš and Alojz Salaj PhD on the development of the UHPC concrete.
The team used only the best aggregates and cements to create the formulation submitted for the SAVT competition, achieving an unbeatable result with a compressive strength of 147.4 MPa. “This result is an affirmation of our close cooperation with Strabag AG,” says Michal Lehký, lead engineer and managing director of MC-Bauchemie in Slovakia. “The formulation is of interest for the production not only of ready-mixed concrete, but also of precast elements.” For example, UHPC concrete is increasingly being used for bridge components as well as for columns in high-rise buildings or other civil engineering constructions. In the future, the structural components produced with UHPC concrete will be more slender yet still exhibit the necessary high strength for each given application. This will not only reduce weight and cut logistics costs but also offer unforeseen possibilities in architecture.