Innovative precast elements made from secondary raw materials

Report on the SeRaMCo EU research project

The Interreg NWE SeRaMCo (Secondary Raw Materials for Concrete Precast Products) EU research project aims to increase practical use of recycled constituents in precast construction, in keeping with the concept of sustainability. Total funding of this research amounts to 7 million euros; it involves 11 European research partners from industry and academia.

The current research concentrates on optimizing cement and concrete mixes and developing further applications for structural and non-structural precast components and concrete products. The design of innovative products involves optimization of existing standard precast products to promote the use of recycled materials. Furthermore, new precast components are being investigated for a wide range of possible applications. In the field of building materials development, recycled mineral aggregates from known and unknown sources are being tested, and appropriate wet and dry processing methods are being developed and improved. Moreover, a numerical model is being elaborated to predict the mechanical performance of the resulting concrete mix on the basis of analyzing its early-age behavior, with the aim of optimizing recycled concrete mix designs. Initial laboratory results showed that a 15 % recycled sand ratio was feasible, thus creating the basis for the industrial production of new types of cement. Related quality control and conformity checks will pave the way to developing innovative products whose performance is similar to conventional products in terms of quality and cost effectiveness.

At the end of the project in 2020, pilots will be installed and presented to the public in Saarlouis (Germany), Seraing (Belgium) and in the French Moselle region to demonstrate practical application of innovative precast products made from secondary raw materials. Research institutions and companies are requested to contribute their expertise to the SeRaMCo network to foster the project objective of significantly increasing the reuse of mineral construction waste.

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