Wednesday, June 19, 2024
HomeCivil Products & ServicesConcreteAdvancements & Trends in Concrete Technology for Meeting Sustainability Demand 

Advancements & Trends in Concrete Technology for Meeting Sustainability Demand 

An exclusive interview with Mr. Gopal Krishna , the Business Head for Aparna RMC, wherein he shared insights on upcoming trends, innovations in the concrete construction industry, technological advancement, quality control measures  and much more.

Mr. Gopal Krishna, Business Head, Aparna RMC

The increasing demand for concrete innovation is driven by the urgent need for sustainable solutions in construction. With urbanization and infrastructure development on the rise, there’s a pressing demand for concrete that not only meets structural requirements but also minimizes environmental impact. Innovations in concrete technology are focused on sustainability, incorporating recycled materials, reducing carbon emissions, and optimizing production processes. Meeting this demand requires a concerted effort from manufacturers to invest in research and development, prioritize sustainability, and embrace cutting-edge technologies to deliver innovative, high-quality concrete products for the future. Aparna Enterprises Ltd [AEL] is one such company manufacturing a wide spectrum of building-material products, such as RMC (ready-mix concrete), uPVC windows and doors, Floor and Wall tiles, Aluminium window and door systems and Exterior Facades, Cold Roll form products etc. Most of these products are available in pan India and international markets through an extensive dealer network which constitutes more than 350 vendor partners for different brands.  

Constrofacilitator recently had an exclusive interview with Mr. Gopal Krishna is the Business Head for Aparna RMC. He is overlooking the ready-mix concrete division of the company and its business development. He is a visionary business leader with over 21 years of experience in crafting and executing strategic initiatives to drive top and bottom-line growth. His work in the construction segment, with a focus on cement and RMC, has focused on transforming businesses sustainable and profitable. He has achieved 100% growth in new business setups, revitalised underperforming regions, and implemented successful ERP/SAP projects. He has a remarkable track-record of successful rollout, management, and completion of projects by navigating complex challenges and making high-stake decisions.

During the interview, he shared insights on upcoming trends, innovations in the concrete construction industry, technological advancement, quality control measures  and much more.

The dynamics of concrete construction is expected to undergo a dramatic transition as we enter a new era within the construction industry. With technological advancements, better materials, and modern construction methods, we are looking at revolutionising the realm of building materials. 

The future of concrete construction will be on the back of building a sustainable and greener future. Traditional concrete has very adverse effects on the environment with CO2 emissions from concrete production accounting for about 8 percent of global emissions. However, the advent of ‘Green Concrete’ can reduce the impact on the environment compared to conventional concrete. The goal of green concrete is to utilise recyclable materials for production, produce less carbon dioxide, and consume low energy for production, resulting in durable and economical concrete vis-à-vis its conventional counterparts.

Furthermore, the concrete construction industry is undergoing a pivotal shift towards the production of innovative materials such as Smart Dynamic Concrete (SDC), a revolutionary development aimed at significantly diminishing carbon footprints in the construction process. The use of SDC reduces the carbon footprint of concrete and the construction process through the lower cement content, less energy, and lower in-place vibration requirements. SDC offers several economical and technical benefits, including faster speed of concrete placement with less labour, higher durability, lower energy consumption, as well as higher economy, ecological and ergonomic performance. 

Drones are increasingly used in concrete technology and construction, with applications such as site inspections, progress monitoring, and data collection. Moreover, 3D printing is being used to make sophisticated concrete structures with a shorter turnaround time. This technology is aimed to transform how concrete is poured and cast, leading to faster, cheaper, and more precise construction method.

These trends and innovations have the potential to transform the concrete construction industry by improving efficiency, reducing costs, and enhancing project outcomes.

Several initiatives and technologies are currently under exploration to enhance the environmental sustainability of cement production to mitigate the adverse effects of traditional concrete manufacturing on the environment. 

The exploration of Carbon Capture technology leads the march. Innovative approaches, such as carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology, help capture CO2 emissions during cement production. CCS results in reduced greenhouse emissions associated with the cement production process by repurposing CO2 for use as concrete additive. Moreover, green concrete and smart dynamic cement are increasingly finding prominence in this bid.

Aparna RMC undertakes various measures to maintain quality control of concrete from production through delivery. We have 27 plants which are computerised using MCI 360 and Siemens PLCs, which guarantee accurate batching, and continuous production. Aparna RMC employs this technology that helps make custom mixes of aggregates, cement and admixtures that ensures that we remain a reliable partner in the construction industry. Additionally, we have measures to check that the concrete is of high standard so that it meets the industry standards hence, ensuring that RMC supplied at the site continues to be of high grade.

Recent innovations in cement technology have influenced the performance and environmental impact of concrete in various ways. A recent study has found that substituting 90% of the coal with Refused Derived Fuels (RDFs) results in saving around 28.6 metric tons per hour of coal, and increasing the Sewage Sludge (SS) fraction in the total heat consumption by 6% leads to a 17 kg of CO2 emission per metric ton of coal. This approach can contribute immensely in curbing the high emission rate associated with cement production. Alternative methods of mitigating the environmental effect of cement production are continuously developed by researchers, engineers, and contractor companies using other cementitious materials like fly ash, slag, and other industrial by-products. Innovative approaches, such as carbon capture and storage technology, help capture CO2 emissions during cement production. This captured CO2 can then be used in concrete production, resulting in a significant reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. Moreover, the use of alternative materials, such as recycled aggregates is being explored to improve concrete performance and reduce the environmental impact. 

Aparna RMC incorporates sustainable practices in concrete production in several ways. We incorporate recycled aggregates to the environmentally friendly concrete production, along with SCMs. Aparna RMC’s controlled batch process ensures wastage control and resource conservation through supplementary cementitious material such as fly ash, slag, and other industrial wastes. Our water management strategy involves reduced consumption and recycling water so as to limit their impact on the environment. 

To produce high-quality concrete, it is crucial to adhere to several key principles. First and foremost, proper mixing is essential, ensuring a thorough incorporation of cement, aggregates, water, and admixture to eliminate lumps and achieve a homogenous blend. Uniformity of the water to the cement ratio throughout the project is vital since excess water would compromise the concrete’s strength whereas insufficient amount makes the material difficult to work with, leading to a poor final product. The dimensions, form, and size of the aggregates also impact the concreteness of the mix, with the fine aggregates having to absorb more water for better workability. The use of only the best quality cement and aggregates that conform to specified standards is of paramount importance in achieving the greatest outcomes. In addition to that, it is important to note that the adoption of sustainable approaches such as the use of recycled aggregates and Supplementary Cementitious Materials (SCMs) not only minimises environmental burden on cement production but also improves quality of ready- mix concrete.

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