Research and Development

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Cementir Group research and development centres are located in Spoleto (PG) and Aalborg. Main activities include: R&D on cements and ready-mix, controls on products, raw materials and fuels used in the production process. At Aalborg, innovations are made thanks to cooperation with international scientists and architects with the objective of optimizing process efficiencies, product quality and enlarge potential markets. Particular interest is currently devoted to CO2 reduction in the production process through progressive substitution of fossil fuels (petcoke and coal) with alternative fuels (biomass, waste). At the same time new cement types with higher CO2 absorption and heat retention are being developed. Research on coloured cement allow an increased use of white cement in large infrastructure projects thanks to its proven durability.

The Research and Development Centres of the Cementir Holding offer a full range of services. These include standard EN and ASTM testing and a long list of more specialised techniques for testing of cement, all types of cement based products, and all types of raw materials and fuels, including the wide range of waste materials which are increasingly recycled in cement and concrete production. They also offer consultancy services within their areas of expertise.

Production Technology

Our Centres have developed several methods for modelling clinker burning and cement grinding. Equipment include several laboratory furnaces for small scale burning of cement clinker for testing burnability, clinker reactivity, the distribution of minor components and their impact on performance and colour. Laboratory grinding of the clinker to test grindability and cement performance are also performed where full scale production trials are deemed too costly.

Cement testing

Cement testing is routinely performed according to the relevant EN and ASTM standards.
The following properties might be tested:
• Compressive strength
• Water demand
• Setting time
• Fineness (Blaine)
• Mortar expansion
• Air content
• Chemical composition
• Particle size distribution
• Cement colour
• Water soluble Chromium
• Calorimetry

Chemical analysis

In addition to the standardised testing of cement, water, fuels, raw materials and intermediate products in production are analysed on a regular basis. These analyses include particle size distributions, chemical analyses including trace metal contents, heat values of alternative fuels and raw materials, etc.

Mineralogical studies

Mineralogical analyses of cement clinker and concrete are performed. Microscopic analysis of clinker can be used for monitoring burning conditions in the kiln in relation to cement performance. Microscopic analyses of concrete are commonly used for resolving issues of underperformance at the concrete plant.

Concrete testing

Fresh concrete mixtures are developed and tested for all applications. Advanced equipment such as the ICT tester and BLM viscometer are used to study the rheological properties of fresh concrete. Adiabatic calorimetry is routinely performed on standard concrete mixtures to monitor the cement's heat of hydration and the risk of thermal cracking. Physical testing of aggregates, fly ash and concrete is carried out to determine the compressive and tensile strengths of all types of concrete in all strength classes. Additionally, abrasion testing of paving stones is also performed.

Consultancy services

Our teams of competent and highly skilled experts coupled with our extensive network with other experts and professional bodies, mean that we are able to provide consultancy services at highest level. Close integration of our specialist and laboratory staff ensures that we not only deliver reliable analytical results, but significant added value to the customer.