Kilcarrig launches new lower carbon dry mix silo mortar

Kilcarrig launches new lower carbon dry mix silo mortar

Kilcarrig Quarries has introduced a new low carbon dry mix mortar to the market that uses ground granulated blast furnace slag (GGBS) to replace up to 35% of its cementitious binder.

Thomas McDonald, director of Kilcarrig Quarries (also trading as Milford Quarries), says the main advantage of this new mortar is that it cures at a similar rate to traditional mortar, something that was previously not the case for mortar with a high GGBS content.

“We were using about 20 per cent GGBS, but now we’re able to use nearly twice as much, so it’s up to 35 per cent of our total cementitious binder,” he said. GGBS is sometimes used in mortar in small doses but setting times can be slower, something exacerbated by the changeable Irish weather. Kilcarrig’s new eco-mortar is intended to change this. The secret is a new activator, developed by Ecocem Ireland Limited.

“We wanted to use more GGBS to enhance the sustainability of our mortar but were concerned that this could have a detrimental impact on the early age strength development,” McDonald said. “We were already speaking to Ecocem about their AccelR8 activator for blocks and they were able to supply a new product called EcoFormulaT. This has been specifically designed to boost the early age strength of GGBS based dry mortar products.”

Andy Christian, sales manager at Ecocem Ireland, which first introduced GGBS cement products to Ireland in 2003, says that the product was driven by developer demand.

“Durkan Residential were looking for low-carbon products for their sustainable developments and have a strong history of using GGBS. Traditionally, people were not putting GGBS into dry mortar, but this product shows that it can be done without sacrificing any of the key performance targets.

“Kilcarrig were interested right from the start because they wanted something that could differentiate them from other products on the market.”

Kilcarrig’s new eco-mortar reduces the embodied carbon of mortar by around 25 per cent compared to traditional mortar mixes, as well as offering all of the benefits you would expect from a factory-mixed product. The consistency, optimum open time and early age strength development make it an ideal choice for housing developers.

The new product is now being used at Durkan’s scheme of 47 passive houses at Church Road in Killiney, which are being constructed from single-leaf blockwork with external insulation, a system Durkan has pioneered on residential passive house schemes.

Barry Durkan of Durkan Residential said: “We are delighted with the performance of the eco-mortar in terms of both strength and workability on site.”