Cement delivered to major project for international cutting-edge research

The FAIR (Facility for Antiproton and Ion Research) particle accelerator facility located in Darmstadt, Germany, is one of the world’s largest construction projects for international cutting-edge research. Its dimensions are huge: 2 million m³ of earth need to be moved overall, which is equivalent to the volume required for building 5,000 single-family homes. 600,000 m³ of concrete will be poured – eight times the volume cast in the Frankfurt Commerzbank Arena soccer stadium.

Dyckerhoff and HeidelbergCement have entered into a consortium agreement to jointly deliver about 80,000 metric tons of cement to the northern part of the new facility, including CEM III/A 32.5 N-LH (na), CEM III/B 32.5 N-LH/SR (na), and CEM II/B-S 42.5 N grades. Dyckerhoff sources its cement for the project from its Wiesbaden works. Munich-based contractor Mobile Betonkonzepte GmbH has installed two mobile mixing units that process the delivered cement in order to produce concrete on-site.


Superconducting ring accelerator at the heart of the facility

Overall, the northern facility area will consume 310,000 m³ of concrete. Most of it will be special concrete with a corresponding thickness and weight for ensuring effective shielding of the facility. In addition, basalt is used as a heavy aggregate. The concrete recipes had to be officially approved.

At the very heart of the new facility is a 1.1 km long superconducting ring accelerator that runs 17 meters underground. The existing accelerator facility of the GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung (GSI Helmholtz Center for Heavy Ion Research) will be used as a preliminary stage for FAIR. FAIR makes it possible to produce and explore matter on a laboratory scale in forms in which it otherwise only occurs in space. Scientists from all over the world expect new insights into the structure of matter and into the evolution of the universe from the Big Bang to the present day from operating this new, partly subterranean particle accelerator.

The research facility will be supported by eleven countries that entered into an international cooperation agreement in which Germany is represented by the GSI Helmholtz Center for Heavy Ion Research. GSI and FAIR employ a total of 1,450 people. The facility extends over an area of 20 hectares and will be used by about 3,000 scientists from over 50 countries. Porr Germany has been contracted with constructing the northern part of the facility.


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