Second phase of ultra-low
carbon concrete trial underway
The second phase of a pioneering project to boost the take-up of ultra-low carbon concrete in civil engineering and construction is underway.
The DULCET (Durable low carbon reinforced concrete for challenging environments) project aims to develop and prove the performance of a new reinforced Cemfree concrete range for use in aggressive environments such as salt water and highways
The venture is being joint-funded by Innovate UK, the United Kingdom's innovation agency, which provides money and support to organisations to make new products and services.
Key to achieving this is the use of low carbon Cemfree concrete as well as basalt fibre, instead of steel to reinforce the concrete, as it is less corrosive and has a much lower carbon footprint.
DULCET trials #2 at Poundfield Precast May 2023 (17)
Partners on the project are Jackson Civil Engineering, the makers of Cemfree, DB Group; BasTech UK (BTUK), which manufactures the basalt rebar; pre-cast concrete makers Poundfield and Building Research Establishment (BRE), which carries out independent research to improve the built environment.
Whereas the first phase of the project involved the use of Cemfree Optima, the second phase has involved Cemfree Rapid, a liquid-based activator.
The latest low carbon reinforced specimens were recently poured at Poundfield’s facilities at Creeting St Peter near Ipswich. Experts from DB Group were on hand to oversee proceedings.
DULCET trials #2 at Poundfield Precast May 2023 (11)

“We hope this project will accelerate adoption of Ultra-Low Carbon Concrete both in aggressive environments, such as marine and highways, and in wider markets for reinforced concrete."

Once cured, the slabs will be sent to BRE’s research laboratories near Watford for a series of structural tests.
The combination of basalt and Cemfree is expected to be more durable in a marine environment than a standard Portland Cement steel reinforcement.
DULCET trials #2 at Poundfield Precast May 2023 (1)