Article "Fly ash for concrete production - with KRAFT" write for a trade magazine
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The client is Kraft Curing Systems GmbH ([login to view URL]). Kraft Curing operates in a niche market of the construction industry as a developer and manufacturer of climate chambers and air conditioning units for the controlled hardening of precast concrete components. Precast concrete parts (from small parts such as paving stones to very large parts such as prestressed concrete beams and bridge elements) benefit from a special climate during the hardening process. Advantages for the manufacturer are faster production, higher quality of the parts as well as a significant cost saving due to different effects.
The article is intended to describe the production of precast concrete products by means of fly ash and the advantageous use of plants of the company Kraft in this process. Fly ash is a waste product from coal power plants. Normally, concrete is produced at least from water and cement as well as at least one so-called aggregate, usually sand. Cement is the most expensive component of concrete and also a climate killer. The production of cement releases more CO2 than global air traffic.
The possibility of replacing cement with a waste material, namely fly ash, therefore has the advantage, in addition to the economic aspect of cost savings, that fly ash does not harm the climate, an argument that is currently crucial. Even though the importance of coal-fired power stations in the German energy mix is decreasing and therefore less fly ash is being generated, the topic is only becoming increasingly important in other countries, especially in emerging countries such as India.
The production of precast concrete products using fly ash requires much higher temperatures than cement because the hydration ability of fly ash (the ability to combine with water and form a type of glue) is lower than that of cement. Also, cement itself produces significantly more heat during the hydration process than fly ash. For these two reasons, when producing fly ash, heat must be supplied from outside to compensate for this deficiency. Whilst prefabrication with a classic, cement-containing mixture takes place optimally at temperatures between 30 and 40 degrees Celsius, temperatures of 60 to 80 degrees Celsius are necessary for production with fly ash.
This is where Kraft Curing technology comes into play. Only Kraft Curing's Vapor Generators can cost-effectively reach the required temperatures in the curing environment. This relationship will be presented and the benefits of using a vapo generator in this production scenario will be highlighted.