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Promoting Sustainable Concrete Tunnels

Elkem founder member of a new consortium to research and design environmentally friendly concrete tunnels.

The first meeting for a new industrial project took place in Trondheim, Norway, recently. The project aims to produce thin-sprayed sustainable concrete linings for road and rail tunnels.

The objective of the project is to provide industry with the knowledge to produce sprayed concrete tunnel linings using robotised techniques.

Elkem is a founder member of the consortium behind and running the project, and will be helping design the low carbon concretes with Elkem Microsilica® as part of new systems which will have a design service life of more than 100 years. These new systems will meet the new demands for sustainability and eco-friendliness in major new infrastructure projects such as Ringeriksbanen and the ferry-free highway E39 in Norway. The increase in durability will reduce costs and environmental loads for the public infrastructure owners.

Among the critical challenges for the project will be designing concretes fulfilling the demanding technical requirements, investigating the environmental performance in varying scenarios by life cycle analysis and bringing the knowledge to the industry to make it competitive and profitable.

Steinar Stennes, Elkem’s sales manager in Norway, says once tested locally, Elkem plans to promote the new techniques globally.

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