Trials start on cement-free pre-cast piles

Manufactured using Cemfree concrete, the piles both reduce embodied carbon and are more resistant to chemical attack, allowing them to more easily meet aggressive sulphate ground condition requirements.

Director of Aarsleff sister company Centrum Pile, Darren Senior, said: “The process of developing a Cemfree concrete mix designation to match the specific requirements of a precast pile in terms of early age strength gain, ultimate strength and the ability to be handled and driven under significant forces has not been an easy task.

“The project team have worked tirelessly over the past 18 months to present various mix designs and trial results which have ultimately led to the mix selected for the trial.

Centrum Pile, is involved as a partner in the LOCOWAG – Low Carbon Concrete within Aggressive Ground – project.

It is also working with Cemfree producer, the DB Group and BRE which is also monitoring site trials being funded by Innovate UK.

Information obtained during the casting process and trial driving will allow fine-tuning of the specific precast Cemfree mix design and, ultimately subject to the development of the design codes and standards ,a market-ready product.”

Andy Waghorn, director of Geotechnical Services at Aarsleff Ground Engineering, said: “When DB Group presented the benefits of Cemfree concrete, we quickly realised this was an exciting opportunity to be part of a revolutionary programme of research and development.

“This project has far-reaching potential to significantly reduce carbon generation and water use in the construction industry in the very imminent future, aligning with our environmental and sustainability objectives and those of the Federation of Piling Specialists to which we belong.”

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