Low Carbon Concrete Defies the Waves | Blog

Posted 14-03-2019
Category Research


In a world-first project, researchers and NSW Ports have incorporated waste from coal-fired power stations into low carbon Geopolymer concrete.

The concrete has been cast into barricades and installed to protect the coastline at Port Kembla from extreme weather events. Steel furnace slag (SFS) Geopolymer concrete is denser than traditional concrete and emits 50 per cent less carbon making it suitable for extreme environments like ports. The low carbon concrete was developed by the Low Carbon Living Co-operative Research Centre (CRCLCL) in association with numerous research and commercial partners.

Batching the concrete and producing the 17-tonne Hanbar Geopolymer units required a unique supply chain. Specialist materials were supplied by Australian Steel Mill Services, Independent Cement & Lime and Wagners. Batching was performed by Cleary Brothers near the site, and to tight tolerances.

CRCLCL Project Leader Professor Stephen Foster said: “In only three years we have taken a product that didn’t exist before, developed it in the lab, upscaled it and turned it into a commercially viable product.

“None of that would have been possible without the CRCLCL’s support.”

Aimed at validating the use of a special high-density Geopolymer concrete in marine environments, the units are being monitored for stability and integrity. As part of the project, Standards Australia is working towards the publication of comprehensive guides for engineers on the specification, production and use of Geopolymer concrete.

The project is supported by Ash Development Association of Australia and the Australasian (Iron & Steel) Slag Association.

Article: Peter Roberts, AU Manufacturing, 15 March 2019. 

AU Manufacturing is a news and analysis website run by the Australian Manufacturing Forum.