INTERNATIONAL AND AUSTRALIAN PERSPECTIVES
Concrete is the second most used material in the world after water and is our primary building material. It is made up from a mixture or cement, aggregate, sand and water. A typical house in Australia requires about 14 tonnes of cement and a kilometre of freeway contains up to 2,500 tonnes.
Demand for cement and concrete is directly linked to economic activity. Increasing population in Australia requires a proportionate increase in infrastructure including development in commercial, residential, transport and utilities. In parallel, the international market is demanding sector competitiveness in technology, manufacturing, efficiency and social outcomes to remain relevant.
The current One Road One Belt initiative and responses to this from international and regional governments is also driving an increase in infrastructure development even beyond that demanded by population growth. How to achieve this growth in a sustainable manner is the primary focus of SmartCrete CRC.
CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES
The capacity for individual sector or end user participants to take a whole of industry approach to the application of concrete is limited by capability and capacity.
Many methods for improving concrete have been explored by industry participants and in the scientific literature, with the major challenge being moving from the concept or laboratory bench to products actually used in industry.
SmartCrete CRC will address this issue by facilitating and supporting collaborations between academia, engineers, producers and end users aimed at solving real world concrete issues. The aim is to overcome the major concrete challenges facing Australia and the region and to provide innovative, practical end use outcomes to the industry.
ALIGNMENT WITH NATIONAL PRIORITIES AND GROWTH CENTRE
The Advanced Manufacturing Growth Centre (AMGC) has developed a Sector Competitiveness Plan that identifies critical future needs and priorities for the sector including the need to:
- Enhance value differentiation by increasing the technical leadership of
- Enhance value differentiation by increasing service offerings within
- Improve market focus by reaching untapped markets and segments and integrating into global value chains
- Lift scale and management quality to improve cost competitiveness.
The SmartCrete CRC will significantly contribute to achieving this plan by:
- Forming cooperative development teams across academia, industry and end users
- Providing a sound scientific basis for product development
- Taking potential products from the laboratory to the market place
- Providing training to produce fully qualified professions
- Increasing technical leadership across the concrete value chain from design
- Focusing on improving the cost, efficiency and whole of life value of concrete.