John Morby, Senior Concrete Technologist for Sika, writes:
Six months on from the successful launch of our Mobile Concrete Lab, where we held our first ‘deminar’ (demonstration/seminar) in Scotland, we’re taking stock of its success throughout the almost 3,000 miles travelled.
The portable workstation, which allows the Sika team to perform trial mixes and develop products in situ, has visited eight locations across the North West to-date.
Ideal for clients rurally located or those that don’t have laboratories on site, the fully-equipped mobile version of Sika’s comprehensive technical service can provide immediate results, using the very materials that will be used at the source.
Operated by members of our technical team, who have been formerly trained by a DVSA Grade A ADI Member driving instructor, the trailer is easily transported to wherever it needs to be.
Results on the road
In February, we took the mobile lab to Precision Poured Concrete (PPC) in Rochdale after a request to analyse a current mix.
Once the lab was set up, we sampled fresh aggerates from the site and conducted moisture tests so we could accurately weigh the material for the mix design.
The entire process was witnessed by PPC staff who watched on as we demonstrated through the trial mix process. Results showed that the existing mix was not yielding correctly and was incredibly harsh.
By introducing SikaPlast 100MR, we were able to make the mix more cohesive and show the team how to re-calculate the current mix to the correct yield.
We also demonstrated a self-compacting concrete mix with Sika ViscoFlow 3000 to the team, which has been tweaked and subsequently marketed by PPC as PrecisionFlow.
Ready(mix) for Action
Another outing for the Mobile Concrete Lab was to undertake product development trials with Readymix, Stalybridge. Working together with the plant owner, we undertook live trials for our new enhanced formulation SikaPlast 15RM (GB).
The mobile lab is proving incredibly successful, allowing us to suggest alterations or improvements to client’s current mixes and showcase new products in order to provide higher quality materials to end user(s). This would have been very laborious, if not impossible, before we had the mobile lab.