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Sulphur in Concrete
Shell Thiocrete technologies have been developed to help concrete manufacturers and end-users exploit the proven properties of sulphur concrete in a growing number of important applications.
Unique Shell technology reduces the cost of modifying sulphur for use in concrete enabling Shell to offer manufacturers a competitively-priced sulphur concrete binder.
This revolutionary breakthrough means that the performance advantages and positive environmental impacts of sulphur concrete, which have long been proven in niche applications, can now be accessed on a much wider basis.
The Science of Sulphur-Enhancement
Shell Thiocrete - Sulphur in Concrete
Supplied in liquid or pellet form, Shell Thiocrete combines the inherent strengths of sulphur with leading edge modifier technology. Unlike traditional cementitious binders that rely on chemical bonds being formed when they react with water, Shell Thiocrete uses modified heated liquid sulphur to “glue” the aggregate together and form a stable, hard concrete product.
A High Performance Alternative
Our goal has been to enable manufacturers to produce sulphur concrete with specific performance benefits:
- High resistance to acids and salts
- High compressive and flexural strength
- Excellent freeze thaw performance
- Easily pigmented to create a wide colour range, including natural and vibrant tones
- Readily moulded to create a wide range of surface textures and finishes.
These performance characteristics create huge potential for use in the following concrete applications:
- Marine applications
- Paving slabs and curbs
- Road barriers and bollards
- Retaining walls
- Garden products
Shell Thiocrete also offers process efficiencies at the precast concrete plant:
- Reduced waste – through reheating and remoulding
- Faster setting time for many product types – improving mould utilisation
Research and Development is ongoing to identify further concrete applications where Shell Thiocrete can deliver benefits to the market.
Kinder to the Environment
Shell Thiocrete cobblestones in Abu Dhabi
Initial studies indicate that concrete products manufactured with Shell Thiocrete have a lower carbon footprint than Portland cement. Switching to Shell Thiocrete can therefore help specifiers meet their own environmental targets:
- Although Shell Thiocrete, together with aggregates, needs to be mixed at 135°C when making sulphur-enhanced concrete, this process uses less energy than conventional cold concrete mixing processes because it avoids the energy needed to heat limestone to 1450°C to manufacture Portland cement.
- The CO2 released when limestone is heated in the cement production process is avoided.
Shell Thiocrete also offers resource savings and enhanced recyclability compared to traditional concrete:
- Shell Thiocrete does not require water, removing the energy and infrastructure costs associated with water supply. This is of particular benefit in locations where fresh water is scarce and desalination is necessary.
- Shell Thiocrete products can be recycled by crushing, reheating and remoulding with no significant loss of performance.
- Shell Thiocrete products can be made with a range of low quality aggregates.
The Way Forward for Pre-cast Concrete
Shell Thiocrete technology is set to have a significant impact in pre-cast concrete markets around the world. The opportunity now is to involve and engage a diverse range of stakeholders from concrete manufacturers and installers, to regional governments, authorities and certifiers.