Imerys Aluminates has developed a centre of expertise for calcium aluminate technology, bringing together technical know-how, scientific knowledge and practical case studies in the areas of marketing, logistics, technology and applications. The aim is to provide you with up-to-date, practical information and to support you in your activities.
You will find a lot of advice available by reading their Expert Opinions.
Emmanuelle Henry-Lanier, 12 years of experience in sustainable development, an expert in life-cycle assessment and ecodesign.
"To ensure that our sustainable development strategy is established on a solid foundation, we have taken the initiative in 2012 of conducting a sustainable development survey of our customers. Around thirty face-to-face interviews were carried out with the aim of identifying the major development priorities of the market to assess our customers' level of maturity in the challenge constituted by sustainable development. Our ambition is to support them by offering them the expertise, products and services that most closely match their requirements.
The initial focus of the survey was sustainable construction markets (building chemistry, wastewater and specialised concretes) in Europe, particularly the most advanced countries in the area, i.e. France, the UK, Scandinavia and Germany.
The interviews generated the following observations:
Because of the appearance of new European regulations for construction materials and the emergence of "sustainable construction" labelling systems, sustainable development is perceived as a potential value creation lever impacting all players in the construction sector, starting with large international groups (construction majors and materials manufacturers), specifiers and end-users.
Even though buildings meeting ‘sustainable construction' standards are sold at a higher price, because they enable substantial savings to be made during phases of occupation and maintenance, construction sector players are unwilling to pay a premium for more environmentally friendly solutions. More than a means of generating additional revenue stream for our customers, this dimension is perceived above all as a factor of differentiation."
Hervé Fryda, holder of a doctorate in Chemical Engineering and Materials Science, 17 years of experience in R&D at Imerys Aluminates, head of R&D in refractories and hydration.
"Refractory monolithics have made a technological leap thanks to the development of deflocculated concretes which achieve performance equal or even superior to that of bricks. But mastery of this technology can prove delicate as a result of interactions between dispersal agents, ultra-fine particles and cement. Most of the dispersing molecules available on the market have been developed for such applications as detergents or water treatment, which have nothing to with our customers' applications, and they can create significant side-effects with calcium aluminates.
Peramin® AL superplasticisers are the result of a project seeking to optimise the dispersion of extremely pure deflocculated concretes. The absence of silica fume makes these concretes difficult to deflocculate. The addition of retarding admixtures such as carboxylic acids to prolong workability also entails considerable retardation of cement hydration. The challenge in reducing the water demand and viscosity without affecting hydration or the setting time. Thanks to an upstream study, we have identified key interactions and developed molecules as required. The performance of applications described in this article show how much progress has been achieved!"
Pascal Taquet, Technical Director, Building Chemistry since 2012, 12 years of experience in Building Chemistry R&D at Imerys Aluminates.
"Like portland cements, calcium aluminates are widely used as hydraulic binders in the ready-to-use dry mortars industry. These compounds react with water to create materials developing extremely interesting properties of hardening, cohesion and adhesion. But affinity with water is also detrimental, particularly when hydraulic binders are stored in damp conditions or in the presence of mortar components containing residual water.
The ageing phenomenon in these binders and calcium aluminates in formulated mortar is a major problem for the user. It results in a loss of reactivity which results in a deterioration of properties expected in the final application.
The development of Ternal® RG-S, a brand new calcium aluminate, has allowed us to significantly improve the storage properties of formulated mortars and to make strides in understanding ageing phenomena. The progress achieved in this area constitutes a first for both the calcium aluminates and ready-to-use dry mortars industries."