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SmartCrete CRC Project To Advance The Cement And Concrete Industry

In Early 2021, SmartCrete announced its new Fast Track program. The three new projects received funding ranging from $500,000 to $1 million each and were spread across two of the three SmartCrete CRC research program streams, involving collaboration with partner organisations from across the construction materials supply chain. After receiving funding, the second project known as The Recycled Material Concrete Production project (RMCP) was presented by Professor Rebecca Gravina at the Concrete Institute of Australia’s weekly webinar series on March 11. The webinar focused on 3 projects that have been given the "green light" by the government and how these will in fact, advance the cement and concrete industry. This is a fantastic achievement for SmartCrete CRC. 

RMCP Project overview

The RMCP project will investigate and implement new applications of domestic and industrial waste materials (plastics, rubber, crusher dust, industrial by-products) in the concrete construction industry. It will also provide long term environmental and economic benefits to key stakeholders including supply-chain, government, and asset owners. 

As stated in the project overview, RMCP is a strategic response to the demand-supply imbalance in the Victorian infrastructure and waste recovery sector with a primary focus on councils and local municipalities. Concrete production in Victoria relies on aggregate and cement sourced from natural and finite sand and rock deposits. These deposits are declining in viability; there is a shortage of quarry materials and natural sands. Alternative sources of sands and aggregates are urgently required to meet forecasted consumption.

Outcomes and Benefits of the Project

  • Optimise concrete mix formulations with combinations of recycled plastic flakes and fines, rubber fines, crusher dust fines, recycled concrete aggregates, and supplementary cementitious materials.
  • Develop guidelines for contractors and performance requirements for premix delivery of concrete with recycled material content.
  • Turn waste streams into raw materials.
  • Guarantee the supply chain.

Giving a new purpose to these recycled materials will incorporate principles of the circular economy by reducing waste while ensuring a future for concrete infrastructure in Australia.

The Australasian Pozzolan Association looks forward to following on with the progress of this project and is proud to support this initiative. 

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