Water company Yorkshire Water is trialling an ‘eco-friendly’ ceramic surface treatment designed to protect its concrete assets at most risk of decay.
Traditionally, the company has demolished and then rebuilt concrete structures once they have reached the end of their lives. But the ceramic surface treatment, from materials manufacturer Haydale, reinvigorates existing assets. It uses alumina and zirconia silicates to renew and preserve concrete surfaces. The dense ceramic polymer wraps around and atomically bonds to all elements in the concrete, shielding the surface from the environment.
Yorkshire Water said the treatment is not affected by wet/dry or freeze/thaw cycles, and does not peel, flake, chalk, or delaminate. As a result, it offers asset preservation and reduces concrete corrosion, stabilising the surface chemistry of concrete and stopping carbonation and environmental exposure-driven erosion.
Early indications showed there was a carbon reduction of 43% in using the treatment, compared to some traditional concrete solutions, Yorkshire Water claimed.
The material is being trialled as part of Yorkshire Water’s goal to reach carbon net zero by 2030 for its operational output. The company also aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from its investment in capital building projects by 23% from 2019 to 2025.
Jonathan LeMoine, senior project manager at Yorkshire Water, said: “In early 2021 we will be using one of our capital partners to apply the material to a number of our chemical bunds. The results will be immediately apparent and will pave the way for a larger programme of works protecting our assets.
“We often invest in trialling new technologies and techniques to pave the way for lower emissions in our CAPEX and OPEX solutions. We’re excited to see the results from this trial, and hope that it will provide a low carbon alternative to demolishing and rebuilding.”