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Last edited 24 Mar 2018
Alkali-activated binders for precast and ready-mixed concrete products: New supply chains, business models and environmental benefits
BRE (Building Research Establishment) is an independent, research-based consultancy, testing and training organisation, operating in the built environment and associated industries.
Alkali-activated binders for precast and ready-mixed concrete products: New supply chains, business models and environmental benefits (IP 1/16) was written by Andrew Dunster and published by BRE on 22 January 2016.
Alkali-activated (AA) binder technologies can utilise locally-available clays, waste materials and industrial by-products in combination with a manufactured chemical activator. These novel binders are one of several viable alternatives to Portland cement (PC). They have the potential to play an important role in reducing the environmental impacts associated with global cement and concrete production. In many cases, AA binder technologies also offer superior mechanical properties when subjected to high temperatures, corrosive aqueous liquids or other aggressive environments; subject to satisfactory demonstration of durability.
Producing AA binders uses less energy and produces less carbon dioxide than producing conventional Portland cement. These binders can also offer the concrete producer flexibility in raw materials sourcing.
Low-carbon concretes made from AA binders have some materials in common with PC-based concretes, but there are significant differences in the supply chains and business models for their manufacture and sale.
This 6-page information paper summarises this emerging area of construction technology and provides support for those involved in adopting and utilising these binders. It is intended to inform purchasers and specifiers of concrete and concrete products and those with a wider interest in the procurement of sustainable materials.
The contents of the information paper are:
- Supply chains and business models.
- Environmental benefits of AA binders.
- AA binder concretes at end of life.
 Find out more.
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
- Alkali-activated binders for precast and ready-mixed concrete products: A route map to standardisation, certification and guidance.
- Alkali-aggregate reaction (AAR).
- Applications, performance characteristics and environmental benefits of alkali-activated binder concretes.
- BRE articles on Designing Buildings Wiki.
- BRE Buzz articles on Designing Buildings Wiki.
- BRE Buzz.
- Building Research Establishment.
- High alumina cement.
- Portland Cement.
- Research on novel cements to reduce CO2 emissions.
- Sustainable materials.
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