Green Cement Technology
Our partners, Nu-Rock Technology, have developed a binder and process that allows them to turn industrial by-products left in the environment into cementous building products. The first products, Concrete Blocks, are the strongest, most affordable and most sustainable masonry blocks in the market.
These blocks are 30% less than the wholesale price and 50% less than the retail price for traditional concrete block. The costs are low due to our utilization of by-products and low energy requirement to produce.
Production of these blocks uses 98% less energy than existing block and Hebel products. Each product consists of 95% recycled materials, by products otherwise sitting in the environment. No virgin aggregates or cement is used in our production.
Strength: Nu-Rock materials are extremely strong and durable. Nu-Rock blocks and bricks have a strength above 15 Mpa where typical concrete blocks are around 7 Mpa. This strength is exceptional considering there is no cement used. This allows for load bearing products that will not dent and stand the test of time.
|Compressive Strength||15 Mpa||5 Mpa|
|Transverse Strength||1.6 Mpa||1.0 Mpa|
|Tensile Strength||2.4 Mpa||Not Required|
|Lateral Modulus of Rupture||2.72 Mpa||1.8 Mpa|
|Mortar Bond||2.4 Mpa||0.10 Mpa|
|Render Bond||0.68 Mpa||0.05 Mpa|
|Salt Attack||40 Cycles||Highest Result 40 cycles|
Resistance to Salt Attack: The ash and process provides the strongest resistance to salt attack which typically degrades most building materials. This extends the life of buildings and durability in coastal environments. Nu-Rock materials last through all 40 cycles of the salt attack test which very few building products can do.
Additional Durability Factors
- Extremely high Mortar & Render bond strength – 10 times above industry requirements.
- Frost Resistance over 50 cycles – well above typical block and brick.
- No expansion over time, very minimal shrinkage.
- No Efflorescence Potential – no calcium present in the product.
Nu-Rock Technology produces traditional construction materials from industrial waste streams including coal ash from power stations, steel and aluminium slag and mining tailings. For Nu-Rock Block and Bricks they utilise coal ash waste from coal fired power stations. The composition of the materials is 95% ash & 5% binder. This is unique in the world.
With this technology Nu-Rock create blocks and bricks that require only 2% of the energy to produce compared to current materials. This low energy usage then translates to a product that is substantially lower in cost to consumers, up to 50% less than retail costs of traditional concrete blocks and clay bricks.
Nu-Rock products are nearly 100% sustainable and remove waste from our environment. Working with energy producers we allow coal energy production to become a cleaner energy proposal.
Why was the product developed?
The product was developed to solve the waste problem that is caused by heavy industry and coal fired energy production. Each coal fired power station produces over 1 million tonnes of ash per year and has a built up deposit of 20+ million tonnes per site. Nu-Rock wanted develop a viable commercial technology to remove this from our environment.
- No aggregate is mined or transported to produce our blocks and bricks.
- Nu-Rock Block and Brick are 95% ash and 5% binder.
- Use power station waste water for all the production needs.
- Nu-Rock can use all qualities of ash not just top ash as the concrete industry does.
- Nu-Rock operate on site with Waste Producers to achieve transport and energy efficiency.
- The curing of the materials takes 8 hours at 35 degrees Celsius.
- Residual heat from power station is utilised for all our heating needs.
- No high temperature or pressure is required that our competitors require.
- Low cost fully automated machinery allows for low cost efficient production.
1) 2015 Sustainability Awards, Green Building Product of the Year
2) CRC CARE Award – overall Winner
(The CRC CARE Award is recognised by Environmental Protection Agencies throughout the world and on the night were seated with the EPA delegates from USA and Europe. In winning this award we beat the runner up and multinational company, Chevron Oil & Gas).
Can the product be recycled after its first use? Is the product made of recyclable materials?
The products can be crushed and the aggregate can be put into the production of new blocks and bricks. When crushed it can also be used as aggregate in all civil applications including road applications. This completes a sustainable circle for the products, 100% sustainable.
The unique Nu-Rock Technology has allowed waste from smelters and coal fired power stations to become recyclable. Previously only small amounts of this waste (less than 5% of ash) was utilised. Nu-Rock Technology opens up the possibility for all this waste to be recycled.
Does the product save energy, heat, water (or other resources) when used?
Yes it does. The production of Nu-Rock blocks only requires 2% of the energy required to make traditional concrete blocks. For clay bricks it is below 1% of the energy required to produce. This is due to the following reasons.
- Ash is pumped directly to plant (we do not mine or transport ingredients).
- Small efficient plant requires comparatively low amounts of energy to run.
- Curing only requires 8 hours in racks at 35 degrees (this heat is achieved through the flume bringing in the ash. The ambient heat is enough).
- As you can see from the manufacturing video, production is completely automated and is energy efficient.
- Having production where the ash is located, reduces our transportation requirements.
- All water used for production is waste water from the power station that would otherwise go to cooling towers or sit in the ponds.
Is the product non-toxic?
Yes. Testing has been done by ANTSO to confirm this status. The binder locks in and changes the ash minerals to produce a product that is far less toxic than concrete products and does not leach. Ash has approval to be used in building products in Australia and throughout the world but Nu-Rock’s process makes it even safer as no dust is created after curing.
Does the product save on the use of non-sustainable resources?
Yes it does. The use of Nu-Rock blocks, bricks and other building materials reduces the aggregates, clays and sands that are currently excavated to produce traditional bricks and concrete blocks. Nu-Rock do not use or mine any Virgin resources to produce the materials. When the market shifts to Nu-Rock Materials we will see a reduction in the mining of natural aggregates. Also the water Nu-Rock uses is all waste water from the power plant. This will reduce the impact the industry has on fresh water reserves.
Nu-Rocks unique process uses customised and automated German machinery in the production of the materials. The ability to achieve the quality of materials we get is not only due to the binder but also the highly tuned production process. This makes the technology very unique.
The mould system in the manufacturing process allows us to produce any shapes that can be extruded or shaped by a mould. Mould sets are low cost and therefore allow for production of curves or other unique shapes that may be required by the designs of buildings. This will open up more design possibilities for architects.
Due to the fact Nu-Rock manufacture in conjunction with waste producers, the production plants are built at the location of their resource. In most cases this is on the site of the power station and the agreements are that the new fresh ash is pumped directly from the plant which is the most efficient way to get the materials. The old ash is all located in large dams next to where our manufacturing plant is. As a piled resource it is easily accessed with little energy required to access it. Most power stations in Australia have a dump of over 30 million tonnes of ash just sitting open in the environment. Each large power station will produce around 1.2 million tonnes of ash per year.
The heat required to cure the products is achieved through the ambient heat in the flume coming from the power station. The water required for production is all waste water from the power station.
Does the product have any world-first sustainability features?
- First block and brick to consist of over 95% ash or other waste material.
- We can use 80-100% of the ash or slag coming from the waste producers.
The first products being manufactured are Masonry Blocks. These are exactly the same as existing concrete blocks in dimension, applications and engineering.
The technology can be applied to many shapes and forms. Below are the other products that will be manufactured soon:
- Concrete slabs
- Aggregate and fine sands
- Wall panels
- Plasterboard replacement
Our price advantage is significant
- Retail price 50% less than competitors
- Wholesale price is 30% less than competitors
The reason is the have a very low cost of production. This is due to the minimal energy required which stems from the following reasons;
- At resource production
- Low cost to purchase core resource
- No mining of virgin aggregates required
- No traditional cement required
- Minimal transportation of resources
- Nu-Rock materials are 1400 kg per m3 compared to 2400-2000 kg per m3 for traditional block and brick.
- The Nu-Rock 190mm Block is 9kg compared to 13-16kg for traditional block (the 13kg block is not compliant and the higher fire rated blocks are 16kg).
- Reduced health and safety issues with reduced weight.
- Faster install with lighter blocks.
- Lower overall weight of walls and building.
- Testing conducted under highest standard, three levels of loading – 93/93/93 achieved for 110mm wall. CSIRO
- 240 minutes for 190mm block wall without load.
- 120 minutes for 190mm block wall with load.
- Ash has been fired to over 1000 degrees as coal so there is nothing left to combust.
- Competing products range from a low of 75 minutes to 240 minutes under no load. As their fire resistance increases the materials become heavier, up to 18kg per 200 series block.
Nu-Rock Blocks are continually tested independently by the following authorities:
- CSIRO Building Division
- University of Western Sydney
- Western Sydney University
- University of NSW
The materials exceed the industry standards and comply with the National Construction Code (NCC) – products deemed to comply – pages 330 to 337 of the NCC link below: National Construction Code
There are a number of documents which outline the products performance. It is important to note that Nu-Rock products pass and exceed all of the required standards for blocks in load bearing and non-load bearing walls. We have also passed rigorous scrutiny by Land & Housing Corporation to be accepted for use in NSW State Housing projects.
Nu-Rock Blocks exceeds the following standards:
- AS 3700 Masonry Structures Standard
- AS/NZ 4456 1997 3
- NSW Government Assessment – Accepted for use in State Housing developments
Further Due Diligence
It is also important to note that Nu-Rock has been put through rigorous due diligence by ASIO and each power station they deal with here and around the world. As power stations are considered a national security issue Nu-Rock were required to pass ASIO clearance. Energy Australia has completed very detailed investigations to ensure the product does what it says it does before they would let Nu-Rock on site and use their ash. This due diligence into the viability and reality of the product has been completed a number of times by large multinational utility companies which are now partnering with Nu-Rock.
Supply & Install
There are opportunities for Nu-Rock technology to provide supply and install solutions for these materials. Should you require a quote on your project please get in touch and we can begin.
Currently the blocks in NSW are produced using the ash which is a by-product of coal fired power generation. This has left many power station with huge deposits of ash they need to remove.