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Oxfam picks record breaking concrete

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OXFAM'S NEW £15M headquarters will showcase what is claimed to be the largest unit ever to be precast in completely self-compacting architectural concrete.

Nottingham-based Trent Concrete has produced the 32t monster column in a white concrete with an acid etched finish.

The 11.5m high by 2.1m wide unit will be delivered to the site in the Oxford Business Park in the next two to three weeks.

It will form a distinctive feature in the glazed entrance atrium and carry loads from external solar shading.

Self-compacting concrete (SCC) is becoming increasingly popular with precast concrete manufacturers (NCE 12 October 2000).

Trent used Sika superplasticising and accelerating admixtures along with a viscosity stabiliser to produce a very fluid but cohesive concrete. Even without mechanical vibration SCC is claimed to be capable of fully penetrating even dense reinforcement and complex moulds.

Benefits are said to be better, more consistent surface finishes and 28-day cube strengths above 100N/mm 2. The elimination of mechanical vibration also brings associated health and safety improvements.

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