Concrete goes from strength to strength

A graphene-enhanced concrete slab has reached over 200 days on a major highway project without any sign of deterioration.

ASX-listed First Graphene Limited reported positive results in its field trials of cement containing PureGRAPH on the UK infrastructure project which has now led to a third trial using a new grade, scheduled to start later this year.

Strength and integrity of the concrete slab were maintained despite aggressive heavy vehicle traffic, abrasion, water exposure and wide range of weather conditions, according to the company.

“[It has] a complete absence of defects, damage or deterioration reported by scientists and engineers investigating the project.”

The concrete slab was prepared using a graphene enhanced CEM II A/L concrete mixture, produced by UK/Ireland construction materials supplier, Breedon Group, during site trials in 2023.

The slab has been subjected to more than 150 heavy vehicle movements each day, as well as considerable abrasion and wetting from washed wheels. It has also undergone exposure testing across a wide range of weather conditions, showing long-term strength.

Core samples extracted from the graphene enhanced concrete indicate good compressive strength performance for the grade of concrete specified. The enhanced cement had an immediate 15% reduction in CO₂ emissions during production due to its lower clinker factor.

The company since reported early-stage strength gain, with the slab meeting specifications for the concrete pad (37 MPa after 28 days, based on cube strengths) and continuing to perform well after successive core tests.

First Graphene Limited has just announced a third trial will commence using a new grade of graphene – PureGRAPH-CEM – under full-scale cement production conditions at Breedon’s Hope Cement Works in Derbyshire (pictured), the largest in the UK.

Image: Breedon Group

About the author

Desi Corbett

Desi is the Editor of Concrete in Australia and at the helm of our magazine for 8 years. She was behind the Institute's weekly news bulletins from 2016-2021 and is now writing our focused news items. Desi has been an engineering news and features journalist/editor across all disciplines since 2013 - part of a 30-year career writing for a wide range of industries