Rio Tinto is a leading international mining group involved in exploration, mining and processing mineral resources worldwide. In 2011, Rio Tinto Alcan began a 4.8 billion dollar modernization project of its 60-year-old aluminum smelter in Kitimat, BC. The Kitimat Modernization Project (KMP) will boost production by 48% to 420,000 tons per year and reduce overall facility emissions by 50% making this facility one of the most modern smelters in the world and among the largest of Rio Tinto’s smelters. Modernization includes construction of new potlines consisting of 360 pots housed in 6 buildings compared to the smelter’s 900 smaller pots in 15 buildings. A potline building houses a series of pots (large electrolyte cells) that produce aluminum and can extend for more than a kilometre (0.6 miles) in length. Because all of the concrete, and especially the building floors will be exposed to an extreme amount of abrasion wear, the project team knows they need a reliable concrete hardening solution.
Hard-Cem was chosen as the concrete durability enhancing solution because of its proven performance in demanding mining environments. In conditions where concrete is subject to impact and abrasion from loaders, forklifts and other transport vehicles moving raw materials and finished goods from processing and production facilities to warehousing facilities, Hard-Cem is ideal.
Moreover, Hard-Cem doesn’t affect the electrical conductivity of concrete making it a superior performing product for a smelter’s electrical environment. Over 500 tonnes of Hard-Cem was used in an approximately 12,500 m3 (16,700 yd3) of concrete in the KMP.
Hard-Cem is an integral concrete hardening admixture that will maintain the integrity of concrete relative to abrasion and erosion. Hard-Cem is unique in its ability to enhance the integrity of air-entrained and non-air entrained concretes. Hard-Cem delivers value and quality assurance for projects.
Admixture for Abrasion and Erosion Resistance Unlike post-applied surface treatments that delaminate over time, or high-strength concrete that’s prone to curling and cracking, Hard-Cem integral admixture significantly reduces replacement and repair requirements and more than doubles the concrete’s wear life — lowering its embodied carbon footprint over its lifetime.