In June, the Turkish Association, THBB, hosted the 23rd
ERMCO Congress, which was a great success. Several hundred people
attended the meetings in the historic Istanbul Military Museum and the
gala dinner, held on a spectacular island in the Bosphorus. The
highlight of the technical sessions was the keynote speech on Advances in Concrete Science in
The Last 50 Years, delivered by Professor Surendra Shah,
one of the world’s leading concrete engineers. The audiences
could then choose between papers delivered in two parallel sessions.
Please click here to
watch the video of Professor Shah’s presentation, or here to download
the slides in pdf format.
The whole ERMCO Congress was recorded and all presentations are
available in multimedia format so you can see all the papers and hear
the actual presentations given in Istanbul. Check this page of the ERMCO 2015 website to
structure for ERMCO activities
Because of the increasing importance of sustainability issues in
ERMCO’s activities, the Board has decided to split the current EcoTec
Committee and to establish separate Technical and Sustainability
Committees, to be chaired by Olaf
Assbrock and Jean-Marc
A meeting will be held next month to discuss the scope and
programme of these two committees.
The Board also appointed Marco
Borroni as new Chairman of the Strategy &
You can see the backgrounds of the three new chairmen here.
This is a good moment to offer heartfelt thanks to the outgoing
chairman (since 2002!) of the EcoTec Committee, Tom Harrison, for
his hard work and efforts over the last 13 years. He has made a
massive contribution to ERMCO and to the concrete industry
generally. We are delighted that he will continue to work with us
on a consultancy basis.
to the ERMCO Board
The Board has re-elected as ERMCO President Stein Tosterud
and as Vice Presidents Erwin
Kern from Germany and Yavuz Isik from Turkey. New Members
from Poland, Portugal, Sweden and Switzerland have joined the Board.
We regret to announce that for economic reasons, the Slovak
Association, SAVT, has been disbanded – so ERMCO has lost a
long-serving and helpful member. Our thanks to them and in particular
to Pavol Knaze,
who has served for a number of years both in the Committees and in the
SNBPE Environmental Awards After a gap of fourteen years the French Association has
revived its awards. Recognising particularly the improvements in
landscaping, the Association gave awards in six categories:
Architectural Innovation, Urban Integration, Rural Integration,
Recycling, Materials Management, and Innovative Design. If you
can read French, click here to
read the article in SNBPE magazine; and even if you can’t, the
competition was partly photographic, so it’s worth looking to see the
great photos and clear advances in the environmental treatment and
design of readymix plants.
in concrete practice Here are three
innovations in concrete practice that we have come across recently.
First is a new test method for assessment of pumpability.
Though experienced concrete people often say that the concrete pump
itself is the best test for pumpability, it is too late when you
discover that concrete won’t
pump, and several loaded trucks are already on the road - you need to
be certain that the concrete is OK before
you dispatch it. Many of us have also experienced
problems, particularly with small mobile pumps, when concrete from the
same plant is OK on one site, but not on another with a different
pump. Putzmeister have now developed a test method (a simple
rheometer) that can be used in the laboratory or on site. Read
the details here. We
would be interested to hear if anyone has practical experience of this
Second, we read in Concrete
magazine of a new robotic method of cleaning truckmixer
drums, originating in the US. It uses water blasting, and removes
the need for anybody to climb inside the drum. Obvious health and
safety benefits, and claimed to be very quick, so that the truck can be
available within a couple of hours. Read more here, and again,
please let us know if you can tell us more about it from practical
Third, a recent edition of Concrete
Engineering International described a new admixture-based
approach to treating returned concrete. The process converts
returned concrete directly into useable aggregates; the ‘new’ aggregate
is coarser than the original, less dense, and with a higher water
absorption. Comparisons of concrete made with the new aggregates
(at 30% replacement) with normal concrete seem to be
satisfactory. The article does not discuss any effect on, or
saving of, wash water. Read more details here.
practical look at carbonation Carbonation of concrete is an issue which will increasingly
concern concrete producers. It is increasingly a matter for
concrete practice as well as science:
to deal with it in terms of CO2 uptake (a kind of
negative emission) is one of the points at issue in drafting
Product Category Rules which will be needed for producers to write
Environmental Product Declarations for concrete;
carbonation resistance is certain to be one of the properties
assessed when the industry gets round to specifying concrete by
Often it is a matter for academic
research rather than practical investigation, so it is good to read in
the Finnish concrete magazine, betoni,
of an extensive programme of such practical research in Helsinki.
The programme goes back to 1994. Some of the buildings studied
have been demolished, but this was for reasons other than carbonation
removing the corrosion protection of the concrete. Read an
English summary of the research here.
In the United States, permeable concrete is seen as one of the great
marketing opportunities for the readymix industry. In Europe we
seem to have given it less attention. However, the Finnish
industry has taken some important steps, with an organised development
programme. This was reported recently in betoni magazine, and
you can look at it here. It
is, of course, in Finnish, but there is an English summary at the
end. Again, the photographs are very informative, demonstrate the
visual possibilities and, generally, give a good idea of what can be
done with this type of paving. We have translated the text for
the photographs (thanks to Ari Mantila and Vesa Anttila) - click here.
and Technical Committees
and Development Committee
ERMCO, the European Ready Mixed
Concrete Organization, is the federation of national
associations for the ready-mixed concrete industry in Europe.