CHRONOLIA - The versatile time-saving concrete from Lafarge


Chronolia™ ready mixed concrete is another technological breakthrough from the Lafarge Group, a world leader in building materials. It is the fruit of five years of extremely advanced research in nanotechnologies, focused on understanding the clear need from customers to control their construction schedules and to be able to work as rapidly as possible. Chronolia™ has already achieved considerable success on various construction projects in the USA, Canada, Europe and, more recently, South Africa.

The local presence of the Group, Lafarge South Africa, and established leader in readymix innovation, recently introduced ChronoliaTM technology to the local construction market. As its name suggests, ChronoliaTM is about time: about saving a remarkable amount of time for contractors. The product's ability to quickly develop high strength means that formwork can be removed considerably faster than for standard concrete, allowing twice as many daily formwork cycles.

ChronoliaTM is an example of Lafarge's commitment to use its unparalleled technical strength to contribute products and solutions for Building better cities: cities that are more compact, have more housing, are more durable and better connected, while being more beautiful and desirable places for everyone to live in.


"We believe that the performance of our concrete should add value to a customer's contract, rather than the traditional situation of their work schedule being limited by a concrete's characteristics," says Lafarge South Africa's Dave Miles, National Performance and Technical Manager - Readymix. "There was a need to have a concrete that could be transported and handled in the same way as conventional readymix but, once placed, would enable the formwork to be removed when it optimally suited the customer's programme: this normally means far quicker than with a normal concrete mix. In ChronoliaTM, Lafarge has developed the solution to these seemingly contradictory requirements and we are adapting it to our climate and regionally available concrete materials. Trials have shown that, with certain grades of ChronoliaTM, formwork can be removed in as little as 2 hours after casting has been completed."

The remarkable versatility of ChronoliaTM is facilitating a new approach to concrete work scheduling. Whereas it takes between 12 and 20 hours from batching before formwork can be removed using conventional concrete for general applications, the range of ChronoliaTM grades guarantees concrete performance at the required early age. The range of grades embraces 4 hours, 6 hours and 15 hours after batching, as well as 24 hours or 48 hours for higher strength applications. ChronoliaTM has the same workability as conventional readymixed concrete and can be used on all construction site applications.


The formulation of the grades gives 2 hours of slump retention followed by the selected

rapid strength gain. For example, the 4-hour grade gives a minimum compressive strength

of 1 MPa, 4 hours after batching, while the 15-hour grade achieves a minimum compressive strength of 15 MPa, 15 hours after batching. The 48-hour grade guarantees a minimum compressive strength of 25 MPa, 48 hours after batching.


"As with any concrete, the performance characteristics are influenced by the quality of the available local concrete constituents and the prevailing weather conditions," comments SivuyileNgobazana, National Product Manager of Lafarge South Africa's Readymix business line. "The rapid setting time of ChronoliaTM combined with exceptionally high early strength, backed by the Lafarge South Africa guarantee, makes it an ideal solution for repairing road surfaces and civil engineering structures, enabling them to be brought back into service with minimal disruption to users."


The key advantage of ChronoliaTM is that it allows much more flexibility in construction planning because the schedule is no longer governed by the formwork. Its use can double the daily rotation of formwork for walls, precast elements, columns and beams, while accelerating the loading of load-bearing concrete elements! It enables a fresh approach to the traditional organisation of a building site to achieve a more efficient work flow.


"We listened to our customers and appreciated that in today's competitive construction market, saving time can be a profit or loss decider. By factoring in the potential for cost saving in time and equipment offered by ChronoliaTM, our customers' tendering becomes more competitive," adds Ngobazana. "Consequently, ChronoliaTM has already aroused tremendous interest in the market and is set to further enhance Lafarge Readymix's reputation as innovators and the leading readymix concrete solution provider."


Readymix innovation by Lafarge

Building practices and productivity in the local construction industry have been transformed by Lafarge South Africa's introduction of innovations such as the ArteviaTM range of decorative concretes; the self-compacting concretes in the AgiliaTM range; andHydromediaTM, the technology breakthrough in fast draining permeable concrete. 




 Note to Editor

A world leader in building materials, Lafarge employs 63,000 people in 61 countries, and posted sales of €12.8 billion in 2014. As a top-ranking player in its Cement, Aggregates and Concrete businesses, it contributes to the construction of cities around the world, through its innovative solutions providing them with more housing and making them more compact, more durable, more beautiful, and better connected. With the world's leading building materials research facility, Lafarge places innovation at the heart of its priorities in order to contribute to more sustainable construction and to better serve architectural creativity.


In South Africa, the company manufactures and supplies cement, aggregates and readymixed concrete. It focuses on providing solutions to help the sustainable development of better cities that benefit the country's people. Through having a strong presence in all of its business lines, it is in a unique position to contribute to urban construction, while also helping to build better cities, rural towns and villages.


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