Advancing Africa’s construction sector in uncertain times
Focused on providing the market with quality materials and solutions that are 100% local, PPC and CHC-SA PrimX Jointless Flooring partnership has become an example of what the future of construction promises to bring to South Africa. With the global pandemic having shown the value that comes with flexibility and innovation to solutions, this partnership raises the design and execution methods of concrete floors.
Traditional concrete floor specifications will require a standard 30MPa mix supplied daily by a ready-mix plant without any specific effort to address shrinkage. This method is limited to 4,5mx4,5 saw cuts or 30x30m (900m2) Steel Fibre Reinforced jointless panels. Depending on the load requirements (e 75KNbtb 150 KN), a slab of 180mm could be constructed. If shrinkage is not addressed, 100m of joints begin to open within months of casting and begin to curl, eventually leaving severe joint damage. Clients begin to carry huge maintenance costs to repair the 100s of joints and damaged equipment while making an effort to manage the hazard this becomes in the workplace. Armed with the knowledge that traditional concrete cracks and curling were a result of the drying due to shrinkage, the partnership between PPC and CHC-SA PrimX Jointless Flooring optimizes the concrete mix for improved shrinkage characteristics presenting a real focus on quality to the South African market.
“Seeking out partners who are invested in the innovation of the sector has been an integral part of our business. Having invested 128 years into the research and development of our materials, the science behind the development and innovation of our materials has been developed to position us as a catalyst that strengthens the capabilities of the sector,” explains Dave Miles, Business Unit Head, PPC Materials,
As a customer-focused business, PPC continues to create a team that is empowered to pioneer new ways of doing business. This includes understanding and facilitating the outcomes and ambitions of the contractor who is determined to be competitive through the inclusion of world-class technology into the construction process. With South Africa’s construction environment being about 30 years behind global developments, the partnership between PPC and CHC-SA PrimX Jointless Flooring propels South Africa’s construction environment forward.
“PrimX provides high-performance SFR concrete with a focus in reducing shrinkage through the addition of special additives, careful mix optimization and quality control throughout the whole production process to ensure a predictable standard for PrimX. Finding a partner who is was able to obtain a quality washed crushed sand as well as washed natural river sand filler was key for our success in South Africa and on the African continent,” explains Brett Meadway, PrimX Technical Sales Manager. “We are uncompromising on the quality, strength and density of the concrete we must receive throughout the project. With testing taking place from supply to final product, we have created an ecosystem that is driven by a commitment to ensuring our product guarantee is achieved.”
“Limited only by day joints, our solution saves 100s of meters of joint damage, allowing for a load requirement of 75 kN btb 150 kN on a 90mm lab. With no additional reinforcement with mesh, construction time for the same size of a slab is approximately 30% shorter! This gives a project manager about a month extra in construction projects while saving clients’ money due to the no curling and controlled shrinkage PrimX floors when cast flat, stays flat for its lifetime,” continues Meadway.
At the forefront of this partnership is a labour force of young South Africans who are provided with training that is on par with their international counterparts who work on similar projects. Jabulani Moeketsi, who has been working on the project since the start describes his contribution to the project, “I have seen what the future of my job will be here in South Africa. Here we are saving time while removing curling and shrinkage in our jointless flooring. Working with my hands and asking questions daily, I have become someone trusted by Brett. I learn and share my knowledge with my team as we watch how what we make, and the quality control measures we put in place give us something we can be proud of.
With the backup support from a concrete engineering team in PrimX’ lab, the ongoing support of PPC and its scientists, a predictable consistent quality in PrimX jointless flooring has been made available in South Africa.