Europe's largest economy, Germany, recently activated an emergency plan to manage gas supplies that the natural gas could be rationed if supplies are disrupted or disrupted by a stand-off over Russian demands to pay for fuel in rubles.
German Vice-Chancellor, minister of economy and climate protection, said Germany's gas supplies were secure for now, but he urged consumers and businesses to reduce consumption, saying "every kilowatt of electricity counts."
Germany's gas network regulator can ration gas if supplies run short. Plants would be the first to be affected. Special treatment will be provided to private families, hospitals, and other important institutions.
Half of Germany's 41.5 million households use natural gas for heating, and industry consumption accounts for a third of the country's 100 billion cubic meters of gas demand in 2021.
The price of many energy and commodities like the concrete foaming agent could be affected.
Concrete is classified as high-strength concrete based on 28-day strength. Until the 1970s, concrete with a strength of more than 40Mpa was classified as high-strength concrete. The benchmark for high-strength concrete is raised to 55Mpa or higher when concrete mixtures of approximately 60Mpa and above are produced commercially.
High strength concrete has a history of about 35 years, from the development of superplasticizer admixtures in the late 1960s, Japan using "naphthalene sulfonate" high strength prefabricated products, and Germany using "sodium benzenesulfonate" underwater concrete, which was a pioneer in this technology.
How is the high strength of concrete achieved?
Higher concrete strength can be achieved by using one or a combination of some or many of the following methods:
High cement content
Reduce water-cement ratio
Better machinability and therefore better compaction
Requirements for high-strength concrete require a high content of cementitious material in the concrete mixture, which can be in the range of more than 400 kilograms per cubic meter. Higher cementitious content leads to higher thermal shrinkage and dry shrinkage, and there is a stage where further cementitious material addition does not affect strength. As for durability, the minimum and maximum cement content in concrete is regulated by law, and reducing the water-cement ratio has its limitations, especially under field conditions. The desire for higher strength leads other materials to achieve the desired effect, thus showing the contribution of cementitious materials to concrete strength.
The addition of pozzolanic mixtures such as pozzolanic fly ash (PFA) or granular blast furnace slag (GGBS) contributes to the formation of secondary CSH gel thereby increasing strength.
The addition of pozzolans admixtures (such as fly ash used as an admixture) reduces the strength gain of concrete for the first 3 to 7 days and displays the gain after 7 days and provides higher strength over the long term.
Add mineral mixtures such as silica fume or metakaolin or rice husk ash.
Silica fume or highly reactive volcanic ash mixtures such as metakaolin and rice husk ash (RHS) will begin to function in about 3 days. RHS has an advantage over PFA because RHS is more reactive.
Using chemical admixtures such as superplasticizers or superplasticizers, controlling admixtures will help achieve higher strength in concrete.
Research and experience have shown that admixtures based on polycarboxylic ether (PCE), known as high plasticizers, are best suited for this job as they have a water reduction capacity of 18 to 40 percent relative to control or reference concrete.
A combination of all or more of the above to achieve the desired strength.
With HSC accompanied by some complexity, such as higher shrinkage rates, higher hydration heat, etc., combinations of at least some of these methods are now unchanged, all of which need to be neutralized or controlled. Most problems are handled by PFA or a combination of GGBS and PCE mixtures.
Steam curing is also used to speed up cement hydration, but this may not result in higher strength. Substituting some fine aggregate with fly ash or blast furnace slag can achieve early strength gains without increasing the water requirement of the concrete mixture.
Suppliers of Concrete Additives
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According to the bank of Spain's latest forecast data, the average inflation is expected to hit 7.6% in 2022, but the average wage increase for workers in this country is expected to be less than 4% in 2022.
If the Bank of Spain's forecast comes true, the gap between price and wage growth in Spain in a single year will be the largest since 1984.
Prices in Spain rose 9.8% year on year in March 2022 and average wages rose 2.4% year on year, with the Bank of Spain forecasting that the country's inflation rate will improve from July.
Recent changes in the international situation have had a big impact on commodity and energy prices. How the prices of the concrete foaming agent will develop in the future is still uncertain.
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