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Cement Specifications Unpacked


The Western Cape Branch held a half-day seminar recently focusing on cement specifications. The event was attended by 70 members and guests and was held at the offices of SANRAL in Bellville.
The seminar featured three prominent speakers from the cement and concrete industry and the objective of the event was to give industry an update on the current norms in specifying cement in the Western Cape region.

Peter Adonis of SANRAL started the proceedings by presenting health and safety information related to the SANRAL building (the venue). Mfundo Taliwe, past Chairman of the branch welcomed all the delegates before handing over to Heinrich van Wijk, the new branch chair, for an overview of the CSSA. Heinrich also briefly introduced the 2019 W Cape branch committee. He then spoke about the functioning of the committee, 2019 planned events and our Fulton Awards review function in June.
 
Heinrich van Wyk introduces Prof Mark AlexanderHeinrich van Wyk introduces Prof Mark AlexanderSteve Crosswell of Steve Crosswell & Associates, opened the seminar with his presentation titled “Cement and Concrete Specifications”, whereby he defined prescriptive and performance-based specifications. He also addressed sub-topics including classifications of cements (Type vs. Class), other concrete-related material specifications, cement regulations in South Africa, and more.

Steph Bredenhann, from SANRAL was the second presenter and his talk was titled “Achieving road stabilisation specifications, and specification of cement per region”. The speaker explained the varied and wide spread use of cement at the SANRAL organization, emphasizing that cement is used in 6 of the 12 chapters in the COTO document. Further topics discussed included an introduction to road stabilization, curing regimes for design and construction, experimental design and material properties, initial consumption of cement, effect of conditioning time, effect of distance from laboratory (travel time) and influence of type of stabilizing agent.
 
The final presenter of the day was our CSSA President, Emeritus Professor Mark Alexander, who discussed the fundamental principles of AAR.

He went on to show how the Na2Eq content can be calculated for a particular cement, to predict the probability of concrete being susceptible to AAR.

He gave further insights into how cement and aggregates can be specified to mitigate the probability of AAR forming.

 
Once Prof Mark had finished his presentation, Heinrich closed the seminar by thanking all who had contributed to the event. A lucky draw prize was also then awarded by PPC General Manager, Clint Wicomb.

 

 
The event was sponsored by PPC who provided foods, refreshments and registration name tags. They also provided entertaining games where participants could win spot prizes. PPC must be
commended for providing many resources for this event and contributing to making it a success.
 

Philip Ronné Mfundo Taliwe and Joseph Mofokeng

 Delegates listen to Prof Mark Alexander

J Henning Ero Engineers with Clint Wicomb PPC

 

 

 

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