Mascrete Pro an Innovative Product Born in Malaysia
30 May 2008, Kuala Lumpur. "Cement-based concrete is the most widely used material on Planet Earth. It can even be made on the Moon. And it has evolved from a simple building material to a continuously evolving high performance building product," said Dr Jacques Lukasik, Lafarge Group Senior Vice President & Director of Scientific Affairs who was in Kuala Lumpur to deliver a talk on Concrete Reborn: Innovative Research & Development at Lafarge.
Concrete, a composite of cement, water, sand and aggregates, is the second most widely used product in the world, after water. A high performer, it offers architects infinite possibilities for creative expression and at the same time it is durable, widely available, easy to use, relatively cheap and can be recycled. The potential of concrete is continuously explored at Lafarge's Research Centre, the world's premier laboratory for building materials.
Every year Lafarge commits 1% of its sales revenue to R&D (2007 Sales: 17.6 billion euros; R&D budget: 170 million euros), to keep up with the rapid pace of innovation to meet customer dreams and expectations as well as promote sustainable construction. "Lafarge is strongly focused on sustainability issues," said Dr Lukasik. "For us sustainability means a reduction of emissions, a more efficient use of resources, better re-use of alternative fuels and raw materials and a consideration of people's health and safety but also innovative materials that can play a role in designing new construction modes that have a lower environmental impact and consume less energy. This is strategic as buildings account for about 40% of CO2 emissions worldwide, due to heat, air conditioning, light needs. Thanks to its versatility and thermal inertia properties, concrete can play a key role in moving towards more sustainable construction modes."
Lafarge launched a voluntary initiative to reduce net C02 emissions by 20% per ton of cement world wide over the period 1990 to 2010 as part of its partnership with WWF. In Malaysia, Lafarge Malayan Cement plants in Rawang and Kanthan substituted imported coal with biomass alternative, palm kernel shells (PKS), in cement manufacturing. PKS now accounts for over 5% of energy used in the heating process of the plants' kilns during the production of cement. By substituting PKS for coal, Lafarge is able to reduce CO2 emissions by more than 60,000 tons per year - the equivalent of planting four million trees a year.
Overall, the results in reducing CO2 emissions are encouraging, with the Group recording a 16% reduction in CO2 emissions worldwide as a result of other wide-ranging initiatives that also include introducing renewable energies such as windmills at its Morocco plant, to replacing carbonated raw materials with de-carbonated materials Lafarge has also achieved notable successes with sustainable concrete - concrete that meets precise specifications, and is aesthetic, durable and recyclable. "Innovative R&D at Lafarge has witnessed the rebirth of concrete. We are currently in the intelligent concrete era that has seen several breakthrough innovations," said Dr Lukasik, who played a key role in the development of the well-received Ductal® sustainable concrete that was born in the Lafarge laboratories in the 1990s.
Lafarge now has an impressive sustainable concrete portfolio known as much for innovation as for their performance and environmental friendliness. It includes Ductal®, Agilia®, Artevia®, Extensia®, and Chornolia®. The outcome of collaborations between industry and academic institutions in Europe, USA and Canada, they are proof of Lafarge's commitment and dedication to transform the life-cycle of construction - from production of building materials to construction, operation and demolition.
For cement, Lafarge has launched a revolutionary high tech cement, branded Sensium®. Sensium® Is a dust free cement that allows construction workers to work in cleaner, dust free environment. Another advantage of Sensium® is that it is also easier to use and hardens more rapidly compared to ordinary cement.
In Malaysia, 2 innovative products have been introduced by Lafarge Malayan Cement in recent years to benefit construction. The 2 new innovative cement products are Avancrete and Mascrete Pro.
Avancrete is a 40kg premium bag cement that is technologically advanced with superior properties which are faster setting, better workability and easy to mix. Avancrete is developed based on customer needs and through these superior properties, allows customers to increase productivity at the job sites. Unlike the conventional 50kg bag, Avancrete's lighter load performs like the 50kg bag but is 20% lighter which makes it easier for workers to carry and more importantly, saves cost.
The most recent development in Lafarge Malayan Cement is the introduction of Mascrete Pro, an innovative cement product that has been successfully launched and is now rapidly gaining market acceptance. Mascrete Pro offers contractors the potential to use a highly workable concrete which requires significantly less compaction thus opens the opportunity for the local industry to use innovative solutions to overcome the shortage of labour at the construction site. The advantages of Mascrete Pro has already been appreciated by numerous customers in the construction industry. It has also proven to be cost effective in producing quality products that require less labour which has created remarkable value to Lafarge's customers.
The adaptation of highly workable and high strength concrete, by Mascrete Pro, will usher a new chapter in the local construction industry where construction work can be speeded up with less labour but brings high quality and durable products.
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About Lafarge Malayan Cement Berhad
Lafarge Malayan Cement Berhad (LMCB) is the leader in Malaysia's cement industry. Incorporated in 1950, it built the country's first cement plant in 1953. Today, LMCB is the parent of a group of companies in Malaysia and Singapore with core businesses in the manufacture and sale of cement, ready-mixed concrete and other related building materials. LMCB employs more than 1,500 people and operates a nationwide network of facilities that includes three integrated cement plants in Langkawi, Kanthan and Rawang, a grinding plant in Pasir Gudang and distribution channels by road, rail and sea. LMCB is proud to serve Malaysia for the past 58 years and is committed to the sustainable growth of the nation's building industry.
Lafarge is the world leader in building materials, with top-ranking positions in all of its businesses: Cement, Aggregates & Concrete and Gypsum. With 90,000 employees in 76 countries, Lafarge posted sales of Euros 17.6 billion and net income of Euros 1.9 billion in 2007. Lafarge is the only company in the construction materials sector to be listed in the 2008 ‘100 Global Most Sustainable Corporations in the World'. Lafarge has been committed to sustainable development for many years, pursuing a strategy that combines industrial know-how with performance, value creation, respect for employees and local cultures, environmental protection and the conservation of natural resources and energy. To make advances in building materials, Lafarge places the customer at the heart of its concerns. It offers the construction industry and the general public innovative solutions bringing greater safety, comfort and quality to their everyday surroundings.