New product innovation Q & A

Q: I’M INTERESTED IN DEVELOPING A NEW CEMENTITIOUS PRODUCT BUT NEED HELP FIGURING OUT A FORMULATION TO MEET THE SPECIFICATIONS. IS THIS SOMETHING BETON HAS EXPERIENCE WITH?

A: The products we are asked to develop are quite varied. For example, Mark Lukkarila and I have worked on Spec Mix and other cementitious bagged products as well as thin-set mortars. We’ve developed mortars that come in a kit that you add water to. We have a patent pending for a hydraulic binder. I’m working now on a viable replacement for fly ash, using recycled wastes.

Our clients know what they need their products to do, and our job is to translate their expectations into a complete set of materials. We have done projects where they give us a price and we beat it by 50% because we understand the manufacturing process and avoid using anything that’s risky or cumbersome.

Q: CALIFORNIA IS IMPLEMENTING GREEN SOURCE CONSTRUCTION, WHICH WILL REQUIRE SIGNIFICANT REDUCTION IN GREENHOUSE GASSES ASSOCIATED WITH CONCRETE. CAN YOU HELP US?

A: Yes. We have worked with clients who have waste materials that are pozzolanic in nature and have developed manufacturing methods for improving reactivity and usability.

We know these materials inside and out. We work with ASTM and ACI to develop standards for these types of materials and their use in construction. Also, we’ve participated in process- and plant design for manufacturing them.

We are very experienced in developing alternate cementing materials and nontraditional pozzolans based on sound science. We’ll make sure it meets all the regulatory requirements. We can even research and write the environmental product declaration for you.

Q: WE NEED TO REDUCE WASTE AS WELL AS THE CARBON FOOTPRINT AND EMBODIED ENERGY OF CONCRETE STRUCTURES. HOW FAR DO YOU THINK WE CAN GO? CAN YOU HELP US IMPLEMENT THESE THINGS?

A: We should be able to get to nearly 100% recycled building materials without reducing the performance. The challenge is to meet the expectations of the owner, installer and users.

And yes, we can help you implement them. We’ve developed concrete mixtures that contain two% by weight of new materials for a number of highway structures. There’s every reason to believe we can assist you with reducing waste and carbon footprint.

I am proud to say that, along with Dick Staley of American Engineering Testing, I won the 2012 Charles Pankow Award for Innovation for a new sustainable concrete mix design from the American Society for Civil Engineers .

Q: HOW DOES BETON STAND OUT FROM OTHER CONSULTANTS?

A: We know the science behind these new products and, just as important, how they are produced. We have a lot of people on our team who’ve worked in production . We save our clients a fortune by changing processes that many consultants have little experience with. Our staff have all held industry posts during their careers. We can put the science to work for you.