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Startup Introduces Cement Alternative

Thursday, March 16, 2017

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Upping the recycled materials is the key to what engineers from the University of Arizona say is a lighter, stronger and less expensive alternative to Portland cement.

Acrete, the product they developed, is formulated using triple the amount of fly ash, a waste product of coal-fired power plants, according to an announcement on the development.

Acrete
Univeristy of Arizona / Paul Tumarkin / Tech Launch Arizona

"Acrete can have as much as three times the compressive strength of cement and twice the flexural strength," says Tech Launch Arizona licensing manager Bob Sleeper, who collaborated with Zhang to protect and commercialize the invention.

"Once the technique developed at the University of Arizona is applied in industrial practice, it will substantially substitute concrete in the construction industry," says Inventor Jinhong Zhang, associate professor of mining and geological engineering. "It will save the impoundment space for fly ash and reduce CO2 emission during the production of cement.

“It will be a novel construction material for the new era for a sustainable development."

Why Fly Ash?

While fly ash serves as an additive in the production of Portland cement-based concrete products, it tends to make up only about 30 percent of the solid material, the university said. Alternatively, fly ash provides nearly 100 percent of the solids in Acrete for the end product without the addition of cement, the university announced.

“Acrete can have as much as three times the compressive strength of cement and twice the flexural strength,” Tech Launch Arizona licensing manager Bob Sleeper, who helped Zhang protect and commercialize the invention, says. “It repels water, and we can control the workability by tweaking the recipe.”

The university reports that U.S. coal-fired power plants produce about 130 million tons of fly ash every year, which are usually stored in mounds that take up large areas of land and can lead to high costs and environmental issues due to wind and erosion.

The university's Tech Launch said it is working with entrepreneur Abraham Jalbout in order to develop the product and bring it to the market.

   

Tagged categories: concrete; Concrete coatings and treatments; Construction; Research; Research and development

Comment from Bogdan Dana, (3/21/2017, 1:33 AM)

GOOD DAY, Not much technical information about this product apart from the fact that it contains a lot of fly ash. Is there a patent or any other technical publication available at all please? Bogdan Dana Boral Australia


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