Chemicals company BASF won the concrete technology category at the Ulmer BetonTage 2014 trade fair, in Neu-Ulm, Germany, for its concrete hardener Master X-Seed 120, in February.
Ulmer BetonTage host FBF Betondienst, the BFT International Betonwerk and professional journal Fertigteil-Technik award the innovation prize to a concrete components supplier industry member yearly.
Assessment criteria include the level of innovation and the originality of the nominees, relevance for the precast concrete components industry, market and application potential, and compliance with technological standards.
“It is a great honour, as this award demonstrates that we have developed an innovative product enabling new business opportunities for our customers,” says BASF’s Herwig Heegewaldt, who is responsible for the concrete additive business in Germany, Austria and Switzerland.
The Master X-Seed allows finely dispersed synthetically produced speed hardening crystals to be added to concrete in a ready-made suspension as crystal seeds. This process – known as seeding – speeds up the hardening process, particularly during the early stage of cement hydration.
Using Master X-Seed to accelerate the setting process results in concrete hardening at the same rate at 20 °C as concrete without hardener at 60 °C. Conventional methods involve adding heat to accelerate the hardening process, ensuring a high level of productivity.
“In developing the seeding technology, a close link between surface and polymer chemistry, as well as mineralogy and structural engineering know-how, was essential.
“Master X-Seed is an example of our interdisciplinary approach to research, which allows for new applications in the construction industry and creates added value for our customers,” says BASF regional market manager for concrete additives in Europe Dr Michael Fischer.
The precast concrete industry can use Master X-Seed to boost production processes, improve concrete quality and energy efficiency, and reduce carbon dioxide emissions by eliminating the need for heat curing.
Master X-Seed offers new possibilities in ready-mix concrete, demonstrated in the ease of pouring concrete in winter at a low outside temperature, and the acceleration of constructing concrete floors, owing to the reduced hardening time of the concrete.
In contrast to conventional acceleration methods, Master X-Seed does not interfere adversely with the final solidity and service life of the concrete. Master X-Seed is approved for use in concrete in accordance with DIN 1045-2.
“As part of our extensive solutions port- folio bundled under the BASF Master Builders Solutions brand, Master X-Seed is setting new standards in the concrete industry. Process enhancement, with lower energy input and consistent product quality, is helping our customers to achieve greater sustainability in construction,” explains Fischer.
Under the Master Builders Solutions brand, BASF includes its advanced chemical solutions for new construction, maintenance, repair and the renovation of structures.
Master Builders Solutions is built on the experience gained from more than 100 years in the construction industry.