Frequently Asked Questions
Do we really believe in E-Crete™?
The first questions usually asked about E-Crete™ are 'Does this product have what it takes to stack up against OPC-based concrete?' and 'Does it really work?' Our answer is ABSOLUTELY. How do we prove this? With action: our demonstration facility in Melbourne is sitting on foundations made from E-Crete™. Quite literally we stand by, and ON our product.
What is the difference between normal concrete & E-Crete™?
The big difference is the material that binds the concrete together. E-Crete™ uses recycled industrial waste, whereas normal concrete uses Ordinary Portland Cement (OPC) to bind the concrete together and give it strength. OPC is made from quarried limestone, heated to 1400 degrees Celsius, and is the third largest CO2 emitter globally. Both E-Crete™ and OPC based concrete contain similar amounts of water and aggregates such as stone and sand.
What is E-Crete™ made from?
E-Crete™ uses fly ash, the byproduct of burning coal at a power station, and blast furnace slag, the by product of manufacturing steel. This is mixed with stone, sand and water to make a concrete that behaves similarly to normal concrete.
Can geopolymers (E-Crete™) be made at ambient temperature?
E-Crete™ is made at ambient temperatures, in the same ways as ordinary cement-based concrete and using the same equipment. This means that anyone can use geopolymers by using similar techniques and staff as for cement-based concrete. In addition, the setting time of geopolymers can be manipulated much in the same way as cement-based concrete.
How durable are geopolymers (E-Crete™)?
Two of the main mechanisms of concrete degradation are sulphate and chloride attack. Geopolymeric concretes have long been noted to have high resistance to these chemical attacks, which are associated with ageing. The lower level of calcium in geopolymers compared to OPC is generally beneficial for sulphate resistance, as the formation of the expansive compounds responsible for sulfate degradation of OPC generally requires the presence of significant levels of available calcium.
One of the main reasons why old concrete structures fail is due to corrosion of steel reinforcement embedded in the concrete. The permeability of the geopolymeric binder phase has recently been shown to be lower than that of OPC. The main benefit of this low permeability is the reduction of chloride permeability, which reduces the rate of chloride attack on steel reinforcing, thereby increasing the lifespan of the material. For further information see our research section.
What can you use geopolymers for?
E-Crete™ looks and performs similarly to normal concrete. In fact, if you didn’t know, you probably couldn’t even tell it doesn’t have any cement in it.
E-Crete™ can be used in most applications where concrete is used today, for example, premix, house slabs, footpaths, driveways, pre-cast products like bricks, blocks, pavers and panels. E-Crete™ also has some special and unique properties, which mean it performs very well under aggressive conditions including fire and acidic environments. Some geopolymers perform so well under fire that they can be used as a refractory! Go to our products page for more information.
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