Concrete passion delivers 80% saving on floor maintenance

by Ofentse Sefolo
Concrete passion delivers 80% saving on floor maintenance

The largest industrial warehousing project in South Africa this year, featuring a massive 110 000m² concrete floor is creating a major shift in the cement industry thanks to the passion, dedication and fierce commitment of PrimX to delivering Future Ready Joint-less floors for their clients.

Clever science for optimization
When speaking to their technical sales manager, Brett Meadway, it becomes clear that for this company, their product is at the heart of their 27-years of success. This is why DSV awarded the largest warehouse flooring project in our country this year, to PrimX in partnership with PPC.

PrimX is a European company, which for the past 27 years has used a European Union Research and Development Grant to create a world-renowned laboratory doing revolutionary work to optimise the performance of local cements and aggregates for their clients around the world.

PrimX’s core business is to analyse cement and aggregate by shipping samples to their lab for rigorous testing to ensure an optimal mix. PrimX improves ordinary concrete by enhancing the tensile strength and flexural behaviour and by cancelling the hygral (drying) shrinkage allowing for jointless slabs with thickness reductions up to and exceeding one half the thickness of other common slab systems. Mechanical characteristics improvements are realised through the controlled addition of high-quality steel fibres, while shrinkage control is accomplished by both by careful mixture design and the addition of proprietary PrimX concrete additives.

PrimX is Spearheading a major shift in the industry through scientific testing and the subsequent reformulation of the cement and aggregate mix design.

Eliminating joints through innovation
“The joints that deteriorate over time due to shrinkage bear the greatest expense and are a problem for any facility due to uncontrolled shrinkage, which induces joint movement where the joints open wide and begin to curl. When forklifts drive over these curled joints, the result is the failure and destruction of the joints, causing excessive repair costs for the customer, “says Brett.

“Through our research and development, PrimX has been able to produce a composite material that offers a powerful anti-cracking effect, a less deformable and more durable slab and removes the need for joints. Our strategic partnership with PPC, PrimX has ensured that only high-quality aggregates and CEMs are used in combination with the on-site integration of high-dose steel fibres as well as PrimX additives.

“By allowing for large panel construction of 48m x 48m, we have been able to eliminate thousands of metres of joints that would have traditionally been part of this type of project. Our large panel construction, once placed flat stays flat for life delivering a smooth and lasting finish with zero curling guaranteed, explains Brett”

Reliable Partnership delivers results
Brett says that being able to replicate the laboratory results on site is only possible if the ready-mix supplier shares their dedication for exact implementation and quality control. “With PPC, we could not have asked for a better and more passionate partnership. Without their unwavering support for meeting these exacting standards, the success of this project would not be possible,” he says.

The hands-on partnership between the PrimX team and their clients guarantee that product quality and application happen in accordance with the specified formula.

“Our amazing relationship with PPC is of paramount importance as they understand how pedantic we are about the slab. To some it is just concrete! But to us, a quality-controlled concrete that is void of shrinkage is the key to a long-term success.”

“When you care about the concrete and have a passion for the product, you need people and a team that understand your vision and passion.

PPC Technical Managers, Werner, and Keith, ensure that the mix design that PrimX have prepared get delivered consistently on site. When you have good control and consistent mix on site that is when you start producing a mix that will offer long term positive results for the end user and that is what PrimX is,” Brett says.

Guaranteed ZERO curling of joints
“PrimX has not been satisfied with the traditional method of ordering a 30MPa mix that has been used simply because it is considered workable and achieves the strength. The error made by the industry is that no one focuses on the vitally important factor of shrinkage”, he notes.

“That’s why PrimX focus is on creating a composite material that has ZERO shrinkage, so that we can guarantee our client large jointless panels that are future ready with a greater than 80% lifecycle maintenance cost reduction on the project budget.”

Imagine what a client with this size project could do with an 80% saving on maintenance. These funds could be channelled into their people, they could build more warehouses or even expand.

“If you actually walk on these 2300 square metre panels that are shiny and smooth without any joints – you start to generate a legacy in South Africa. We start to change where people stand on concrete.”

The key to this system is that once it is placed, it stays flat for life. It is not like the traditional method, which eventually creates movement through shrinkage on the floor and affects the tolerance.

Community legacy and impacting real people
Brett continues, “The PrimX way is hard work, attention to detail and has a real focus on people and people development. I would like the next person to be able to do my job with the same passion, dedication, commitment and attention to detail as if I were doing it myself.”

“PrimX brought this to life when labourers from the local community were all schooled in the PrimX way. These employees were placed on the mixing station which is the heartbeat of this project and is where the trucks come in. These guys are integrating steel fibre at 11.5 kilometres per cube. So, you can imagine in a large panel how much steel reinforcing is going into the slab. Then we have a pump, where the other group of local employees are mixing and integrating the other 2 PrimX additives into the back of the truck on site.”

“It took some time to get them to understand the precision at which PrimX concrete is prepared, but now that we have done close to 5000 cubes in the crossdock and 11800 cubes for the main warehouse, I can confidently say that they come on site, set themselves up, get ready for the day and have passion for a consistent and predictable quality. When they walk on the slab and see the quality of the flooring, they are proud of the work that they have done.”

“They now have enough skill to identify when the concrete mix is changing from one truck to the other. This is key as it shows the knowledge and the skills transferred to this group of employees. And when they start to control their own concrete mix, there is no better day, and I could not be prouder.”

“This project is a perfect example of being future-ready. Warehousing space is going to change and soon we will see the introduction of robotics and automation. For a client like DSV, who plans to move towards robotics once the technology becomes more affordable, their floors are already perfect for these extremely sensitive machines.”

“With things being as they are, we could all do with an 80% maintenance saving. It is now a reality thanks to the innovation of companies like PrimX,” Brett concludes.

Fun Facts:
– 110 000 square metre projects.
– Almost 18 000 cubes of high-quality concrete when completed.
– Steel fibre – incorporating up to 11.5km of steel fibre per cube.
– Steel Fibre Reinforcement – in each 2 300m² panels, PrimX enjoys 350m3 of concrete and 2.3 million-thousand-metre per meter cube (11.5 km per m3) of steel fibre reinforcement throughout the entire depth of that slab in all three directions.
– Understanding the effort that goes into producing this quality of slab.
– PPC Partnership is vital, as they understand the need to change this market on where it stands on concrete.
– PPC with PrimX controls – reducing maintenance on a facility by 80%.
– We see ourselves as leaders of future ready jointless floors in the market – the team wants to achieve this throughout the industry.

For more information, contact PPC:
Tel: 0800 236 368
E-mail: contactus@ppc.co.za
Website: www.ppc.africa

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