Lafarge Research Centres (LCR)


Lafarge Malaysia opens South East Asia first Construction Development Laboratory

Lafarge Malaysia opened its Construction Development Laboratory (CDL) on 23 June 2014, the first in South East Asia and the sixth in the world. It is strategically located in Petaling Jaya, Selangor. Its aim is to promote construction efficiency by adapting innovative solutions to better meet local construction and building needs.

Manufacturing Concrete – A Liquid Stone

Concrete is a living material. It is a fresh liquid product which must be consumed locally (within 50km) and quickly (within 2 hours) since it has a limited shelf life.


It is extracted from natural resources:


  • Aggregates (gravel and sand): infinitely varied, they form the main component of concrete. Extracted from the ground, they are available in large quantities throughout the world.
  • Water: very little is needed to make concrete (just 20cl for 1 litre of concrete on average), and research has made it possible to reduce its use even further. Water serves to activate the bond between the aggregates in concrete, by hydrating the cement. It is recycled in the concrete manufacturing process.
  • Cement: the crucial link in concrete. It is essentially composed of limestone, which represents 10% to 15% of the mixture.


Other elements can be added to the concrete ‘recipe':


  • Additives and superplasticizers: these ensure the fluidity of the concrete and make it possible to reduce the quantity of water required. Other additives enhance the properties of concrete.
  • Pigment: this gives concrete its colour and enables a huge variety of aesthetic finishes.


Concrete is now manufactured to measure and there are more than 500 different formulas, all produced to a consistently high quality in cutting-edge plants. These formulas make it possible to offer customers a bespoke concrete that meets their demands for resistance, aesthetics, workability, and hardening time.


Cement manufacturing is carried out using limestone (80%) and clay (20%) which are baked in ovens heated to very high temperatures (1500°C) to become "clinker"...


At The Heart of Concrete – Scientific Research

Concrete may appear to be very simple. But the advances in modern concretes mean that now they can be studied scientifically revealing the material's considerable development potential. 


The last 20 years have seen the introduction of innovative high-tech concretes with wide-ranging properties, opening new perspectives for the use of concrete. This new technological era has been possible thanks to:


  • The pooling of scientific knowledge: chemistry, rheology, physics, mechanics of construction materials, micromechanics,
  • Entering the digital age: new instruments such as nuclear magnetic resonance, electron microscopy, nanoindentation, and atomic force microscopy make it possible to expand knowledge of concrete down to a nanoscale.



Lafarge's concretes can be described as self-compacting, fibre-reinforced or ultra-high performance.

Developments in Concrete Create Endless Possibilities

Far from its grey image, concrete has become a material which lends itself to all sorts of architectural projects, especially with its ability to take on many different shapes, colours and textures.


Concrete should not be seen just seen in terms of architectural purposes - its inherent properties allow the material to be successfully used in many different structures, including bridges resistant to the strongest winds and tower blocks with the most effective anti-earthquake facilities.


Concrete can also be used in the construction of quality, low-cost homes - the use of superior concretes (including self-compacting Agilia® and fast-setting ChronoliaTM) is being studied around the world.


Concrete and the future - all aboard for sustainable construction! 

At a time when towns and cities are considering more sustainable ways of developing, concrete has a promising future as a material which is reliable, economic and environmentally-friendly. It is also important in rural areas to open up road networks and develop infrastructures.

Concrete is a Material of the Future

  • It has significant economic advantages: manufactured locally, it encourages the creation of local jobs,
  • It plays an important social role: concrete brings people together in every day life through the infrastructures it is used to build,
  • It has wide-ranging environmental advantages: concrete has a favourable carbon and energy footprint as it is a simple mixture and uses little energy to manufacture and use,
  • Concrete is recyclable and can be produced using recycled materials.


The research also encourages a better understanding of concrete as a material integrated into the construction cycle. Avoiding thermal bridges, reducing the energy consumption of buildings, optimising the recycling and demolition of constructions: these are all factors that make concrete the best ally in sustainable construction!


Sustainable Construction

48% of Lafarge's research investment is devoted to sustainable construction, with the particular aim of:

  • reducing the share of non-renewable resources in concrete,
  • reducing the share of CO2 given off by the manufacturing process for cement, a constituent of concrete (25% of the total research budget).


Mobile Laboratory

In line with our corporate philosophy, customer satisfaction is an important element in our differentiation approach to market, which put us ahead of competition in the Malaysian cement industry.


Mobile laboratory is one of the new services introduced by Lafarge Malaysia in June 2008, which aims to further enhance our technical services to customers and overall customer satisfaction. At the same time, it helps to increase the sales of our differentiated products.


The current set up of mobile laboratory is to focus more on concrete testing with small scale batching facilities and common test for concrete ingredients. Currently, the key activities of mobile laboratory include complaint investigation and joint testing with customers for our range of differentiated products.


In the past, all product complaints were routed to the respective plants for investigation. Thus, the response to our customers on the findings of these complaints could not be immediate. However, with mobile laboratory, quick investigation can be conducted at site for certain product complaints to assess validity and identify the potential causes of the problems encountered. Besides, it shows transparency in our investigation processes and testings, which helps to enhance trusts and customer satisfaction.


By providing testing facilities at site, we are able to increase our differentiated product sales through on site testing and mix proportion optimisation. Customer will be able to witness the special features incorporated with our differentiated products.


With the implementation of mobile laboratory, we are proud to be the first cement supplier in Malaysia to provide mobile testing facilities to our valued customers at site.