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Vol 15 | Issue 1 | April 2017


As the Iron and steel industry advances, it becomes more important to keep on top of the latest and most relevant news, research and events that directly relate to you and your profession. The Australasian (iron & steel) Slag Association is here again with the latest release of Connections to do exactly that. In this edition we pay tribute to the ASA’s longest serving International Vice Chairman, Bill Bourke, who sadly recently passed away. Bill was a “True Gentlemen” and will be greatly missed by the Association and the steel industry. ASMS show another application of slag within road bases, after their involvement with the NSW Berry Bypass construction, featured in the last edition of Connections, they are now supplying plant mixed RBM800 pavement material to RMS for Castle Hill’s Showground Road upgrade. Marc Smith and Gavin Tory provide an update on page four (4). We profile one of ASA’s Board members, Catherine Skidmore in this edition. Readers can gain insight into her role as a Superintendent at OneSteel. It’s no surprise she is a valued member and friend of the Association.


Muhammad Hadi and his fellow University of Wollongong associates confirm the rising popularity of geopolymer concrete research as they present the Construction and building materials Commercial paper. With information on the Taguchi method within geopolymer concrete applications, the research paper is available to purchase now. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13.

Editorial Bill Bourke: A true Gentleman that will be missed Castle Hill Road Upgrade gets the ‘Golden Slag’ Treatment The Spotlight Shines on Catherine Skidmore The Rise and Rise of Geopolymer Concrete Geopolymer Handbook – Increasing Confidence, Reducing Risk Sharing 30 Years of ‘Slag’ Experience with Vietnam Carbon Leakage and Cement Importation CPN26 – Ground Granulated Iron Blast Furnace Slag and its use in concrete Geopolymer Concrete Research Stands strong at CRC-LCL Annual Participants Forum Concrete 2017 9th European Slag Conference – EuroSlag Membership Survey Reminder + We need your content ASAP

The Association’s* involvement in the Cooperative Research Centre for Low Carbon Living (CRC-LCL) Geopolymer Handbook is featured on page 6 and highlights the benefits of using Geopolymer Concrete for large-scale applications. Once published, the Handbooks purpose is to demystify how organisations, engineers and users can utilise low carbon Geopolymer concrete in Australia. Overall, gaining more knowledge, more confidence and de-risking low carbon Geopolymer concrete in Australia. Further in, we talk all things CRC-LCL in the review of the 2016 Participants Annual Forum, including a presentation by the Association’s CEO Craig Heidrich on removing barriers to the uptake of low carbon geopolymer concrete in Australia. Finally, the ASA would like to thank all readers of Connections for your commitment and support. Content for future publications is highly appreciated, so if you think you have a relative story, event or business proceeding email Editor, Bre McMahon today to be discovered by thousands of readers. Regards,

Team ASA.




CONNECTIONS EDITORIAL TEAM | October 2016 Edition Connections is published by the ASA The Australasian (Iron & Steel) Slag Association Wollongong NSW 2500 Phone: 02 4258 0160 Fax: 02 4258 0169 Email: Web: Executive Director: Craig Heidrich Editor: Bre McMahon Design: 101 Design Contributors: Catherine Skitmore, Muhammad Hadi, Marc Smith, Gavin Tory, Stephen Foster, Craig Heidrich, Aiden Chilcott, Carol Wilson. Connections is a biannual publication with an online circulation of 1500 copies

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BILL BOURKE A TRUE GENTLEMAN THAT WILL BE MISSED. By Nick Jones, Harsco UK & Craig Heidrich, Australasian (iron & steel) Slag Association

It is with great sadness that we inform you of the passing of Bill Bourke. For those who didn’t know, Bill was the Australasian (iron & steel) Slag Association’s longest serving International Vice Chairman (2001 to 2012), until his departure from the slag processing and marketing business ‘SteelServ’ (Bluescope & Harsco). Bill was known for his always jovial, upbeat and often very lengthy conversations, by email or phone. Craig Heidrich, ASA’s CEO says “I recall on many occasions, our conversations would start with a ‘Good morning West Island’ as he always referred to New Zealand as the mainland and Australia as just a neighbouring Island extension.” Bill passed away after a sudden illness, taking away his mobility and eventually his speech, which was a bitter irony for a man who enjoyed talking so much. Bill studied at Kings College in Auckland and spent some time working at New Zealand Steel, before returning to join SteelServ where he became instrumental to developing the slag market in New Zealand. Bill is credited for marketing Melter Slag for use in wastewater treatment and high quality road surfacing applications. Much of Bill’s enthusiasm had been what led to the Association funding and publishing a major research study ‘An Assessment of iron and steel slag for treatment of storm water pollution’. Bill was also a great lover of sport, especially rugby to which he would extoll the exploits of the All Black over our Wallabies! Bill was a keen student of history and would routinely quote learning’s from the past. He also had a considerable fondness for English humour; often quoting lines from “‘Allo ‘Allo”, “Are you being served” and “Blackadder”, when he wasn’t impersonating Winston Churchill. Bill will be sadly missed. He was one of life’s great characters and for those who had the pleasure of speaking with him knew that a conversation with Bill was always an enjoyable one. He was one of the true Gentlemen of the slag industry.

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CASTLE HILL ROAD UPGRADE GETS THE ‘GOLDEN SLAG’ TREATMENT Australian Steel Mill Services (ASMS) partnered with NSW Roads & Maritime Services (RMS) for an upgrade of Showground Road in Castle Hill. Costing over $41M, slag was specified to meet the technically demanding requirements for this project. In May 2016, ASMS began supplying RMS contractors with RBM800 pavement material for the Showground Road upgrade works. The 1.5km upgrade will widen the major road to 4 lanes with additional road islands, bus stops, traffic lights and turning lanes to ease traffic congestion. The key benefits for the area after completion of this project include reduced congestion, increased traffic capacity and improved safety at several intersections. “RMS engineers replaced concrete in the original pavement design with Blast Furnace Slag, heavily bound pavement course to reduce costs and simplify road construction. The upgrade has some challenging site requirements, such as coordinating construction past more than 90 private driveways and over 132kV power cables. ASMS plant mixed RBM800 pavement material was specified for this project due to its ease of compaction and durable performance. Produced on-site at Bluescope Steel in Port Kembla, RBM800 is easily transported to the worksite and this works well against the challenges present” says Gavin Tory. NSW RMS predict this technically demanding road improvement project will take over 2 years to complete and cost $41M. Marc Smith and Gavin Tory are current serving members of the National Technical and Education Committee. For further information about the RMS Project contact Gavin Tory Read more at:

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CATHERINE SKIDMORE We invited OneSteel Superintendent and serving ASA board member Catherine Skidmore to sit down with Editor Bre McMahon. Readers are given insights into her career and an interesting look at the technical knowledge that one gathers from 18 years experience in the Steel Industry.

What are your current roles and responsibilities at OneSteel?

My current title is Raw Materials and By-products Superintendent. It is a technical role responsible for maximising value in the major bulk consumables to Steelmaking. I minimise and add value to the by-product and co-product streams across our manufacturing sites in Newcastle, Sydney and Melbourne. My position particularly involves working on developing applications or alternate uses (internal or external) for co-products, such as electric arc furnace slag.

Have you always worked in the steel industry?

I have worked in the steel industry for 18 years. My first job was as a production engineer at the munitions filling factory at St Marys, working for the Australian Defence Industries. This was a great first job and gave me a good grounding in small project work and a passion for manufacturing. I joined BHP in 1991 and was part of the commissioning team for Sydney Steel Mill. This was a really exciting time being part of a green field start up. During my time with BHP/ OneSteel I have worked as a Shift Supervisor, Furnace Superintendent and until 2015 I was the Steel Plant Manager.

How did you develop your technical knowledge?

Science and technology have always been big interests of mine, so much so that I completed a degree in Chemical Engineering at The University of NSW in 1989. Throughout my industry experience I have been involved in many professional development opportunities such as training programs and seminars, however in the end a large amount of technical knowledge comes from exposure to problem solving and “hands on” projects within the work environment. As well as this, OneSteel has a long research partnership with the School of Material Science at UNSW and this enables us to also be involved in ‘pure’ science.

What accomplishments have you made in the industry?

I have been involved in many exciting activities with OneSteel, such as being part of the Sydney Steel Mill commissioning team. I am also proud to have been a team member who, in conjunction with the UNSW, developed the Polymer Injection Technology in which we partially substitute polymer for carbon in our process. This was a world first and the technology has now been sold commercially in several countries.

Why is slag important to OneSteel?

The most important role of slag to a steelmaker is its role in the steel manufacturing process and protecting the refractories in the furnace and ladle. Having said that, the use of our slags in further useful applications, such as a road base, provides an important add value application and can replace finite natural resources. As a recycler ourselves we see this as a desirable outcome. In general I would like to see applications for our slag expanded as they have potential uses in filtration, agriculture and soil conditioning as well as road construction. The ultimate goal is to find a way of creating a higher value use or transformation of the product.

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The exponential rise in geopolymer research is capturing industry interest. Published research papers covering geopolymer concrete, such as different mixes, methods and applications are challenging the conventional use of concrete. The Association’s involvement with the Cooperative Research Centre for Low Carbon Living research project is just one example of the amount of focus being placed upon much geopolymer research. As geopolymer concrete knowledge increases, so does its interest. The increasing amount of research, technical and commercial papers being produced and published supports this view. Geopolymer concrete is becoming more widely accepted within the industry and in turn, the promotion the reduced CO2 benefits that come from displacing emission from general purpose cement. One example of a recent independent geopolymer research paper comes from University of Wollongong associate professors, Muhammad Hadi, Nabeel A. Farhan, M and Neaz S. Located at the School of Civil, Mining and Environmental Engineering, the paper is titled “Design of Geopolymer Concrete with GGBFS at Ambient Curing Condition Using Taguchi Method” and was released February 2017. In this paper, the well-known Taguchi method (an optimisation method for experimental studies) has been used to design optimum mix proportions for geopolymer concrete with ground granulated blast furnace slag (GGBFS) as aluminosilicate source at ambient curing condition.

Muhammad Hadi gives a summary of the paper; “The influences of binder content, alkaline activator to binder content (Al/Bi) ratio, sodium silicate to sodium hydroxide (SS/SH) ratio, and sodium hydroxide (SH) concentration on the geopolymer concrete were investigated. A total of nine mix designs were evaluated. It was found that specimens with a binder content of 450 kg/m3, Al/Bi ratio of 0.35, SS/SH ratio of 2.5, and SH concentration of 14 M produced the highest 7-day compressive strength (60.4 MPa). However, the setting time was found to be short. Hence, fly ash (FA), metakaolin (MK), and silica fume (SF) were used as partial replacement of GGBFS in different proportions to increase the setting time. It was found that the setting time improved for the partial replacement (10-60%) of GGBFS with FA, MK, and SF.“ To jump on the geopolymer bandwagon and stay updated within the Slag Industry visit the ASA’s News blog or subscribe here to connections selections. You can purchase the geopolymer research paper here: http://www.


Graph extracted from Professor Stephen Foster’s presentation at the 2016 Australian Sustainable Built Environment Council.

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The manufacture of general purpose cement is the second largest emitter of carbon emissions, globally. In Australia, general purpose cement is responsible for 7.2 million tonnes of carbon emissions, according to the cement industry data.

engineers and users about how to use Geopolymer concrete with greater confidence and less risk. The Handbook will also build on other published information such as the Recommended Practice prepared by the Concrete Institute of Australia.

As these alarming figures continue to increase, groups such as the Australasian (iron & steel) Slag Association and the CRC-LCL are investigating ways in which concrete can be manufactured with low or even no carbon emissions.

The Handbook title will be “Guide to Specification and Use of Geopolymer Concrete” will include the following:

Geopolymer Concrete uses materials such as fly ash and slag to replace Portland Cement. Using a range of activators and pozzolans, results show that this form of concrete is not only an effective way to reduce carbon emissions (approximately 80% carbon reduction) but also can reduce costs. Currently, there is a lack of understanding within the construction industry of how to use Geopolymer Concrete for large-scale applications. The primary cause is the lack of publically available information about Geopolymer Concrete. To counter this, the Association, in partnership with CRC-LCL and other like-minded organisations have been working to publish a Geopolymer Concrete Handbook. The Handbook will be published through Standards Australia, and designed to assist

1. Background 2. Properties and applications 3. Performance-based specification 4. Recommended performance test methods 5. Case histories and long-term durability 6. Relevant standards The production of the Handbook aims to remove a major barriers to the use of low carbon Geopolymer concretes and profoundly increase their use in the construction industry. Based on research previously conducted having a standard specification is the highest priority to enable the industry to adopt Geopolymer concrete in the near future. The Geopolymer Handbook is expected to be completed later this year.


Geopolymer concrete is the result of the reaction of materials containing aluminosilicate such as slag with alkalis to produce an inorganic polymer binder. It has an 80 percent lower carbon footprint compared to the conventional Portland cement concrete. Here it is being installed at the University of Queensland’s Global Change Institute.


Geopolymer being placed at the Brisbane West Wellcamp Airport, the first private airport in 30 years. It uses 40,000m3 of geopolymer concrete, making it the largest application of this new class of concrete in the world.

Image: UNSW

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In December 2016, Craig Heidrich (CEO) addressed the inaugural conference ‘Applications of iron/steel slag in construction industry for sustainable development’ hosted by the Vietnam Institute For Building Materials Center For Cement And Concrete and the Vietnam Steel Association in Hanoi, Vietnam. The theme for the forum revolved about creating sustainable development opportunities of the Vietnam Steel Industry, whilst meeting the challenges of ensuring the effective use of the increased slag resource. The program covered environmental regulations and lack of standards related to the use of slag, iron and steel. Examples of slag use were also shared between experts that attended the event.

The Australasian (iron & steel) Slag Association presentation “Iron and Steel Slag – The Ultimate Recovered Construction Resource” focused on developing sound and pragmatic technical understanding of slag reuse opportunities. The importance of an industry lead agenda to guide the process and develop consensus around specifications, standards and environmental guidelines. The delegates shared experiences and discuss measures to strengthen the application of slag, iron and steel for the recycling industry. Overall, the event provided excellent opportunities to network and establish new contacts across Australasia region. Over 200+ delegates attended the event with 12 speakers. Copies of the proceedings are available from the ASA.

The Vietnam Steel Association forecast that iron and steel production is planned to double by 2025 from 15 million tonnes to 30 million tonnes annually. The meeting discussed the current situation of slag use and required development of the slag industry in Vietnam.

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In early 2016, the ASA began assisting the Department of Environment (the Department) through a Technical Work Group (TWG) to develop a new method to recognise low carbon substitutes in the manufacture of cementitious materials. The TWG consisted of technical experts, including those from industry and relevant government agencies, such as the Clean Energy Regulator to create a method for the Emissions Reductions Fund to recognize iron and steel slags. The Emissions Reduction Fund (ERF) is the centrepiece of the Australian Government’s Policy suite to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. It is designed to source low-cost emissions reductions by providing Incentives for eligible emissions reduction projects across the economy. The Government has provided $2.55 billion to establish the ERF. The objective of the Emissions Reduction Fund is to help achieve Australia’s 2020 emissions reduction target of five per cent below 2000 levels by 2020. The Government has provided $2.55 billion to establish the Emissions Reduction Fund, with further funding to be considered in future budgets. Early 2017 the Department invited to the TWG to address problems associated with carbon leakage and cement importation. In particular, issues surrounding the use of locally produced and imported clinker and the likely change in local clinker production and importation levels caused by a project. This was considered critical in assessing whether the method meets the offsets integrity standards of ERF. Currently the Association is unsure about the Departments direction or solution which addresses these key concerns which could allow for the TWG to continue its work. Association has requested its members be kept abreast of any further work in this area, which includes Concrete.

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During 2016, the Concrete Institute of Australia (CIA) invited the ASA to undertake a review of the technical document, ‘Ground Granulated Iron Blast Furnace Slag and its use in Concrete’, also known as CPN26. CPN26 provides general information on the design and use of concrete containing ground granulated blast furnace slag (GGBFS) as a cement replacement. The concrete and slag referred to in CPN26, as well as the properties of the concrete produced as a result of the ratio of slag replacing cementious materials, have to all comply with relevant Australian Standards for blended cements (AS 3600, AS3582.2 (2) AND AS3972). The Association will conclude its review of in April. Members are encouraged to contribute to the review. For more information email the Assocation at info@ The ASA would like to thank Mark Sedom, Arnaud Castel, Marc Smith, David Svolos, Ihor Hinczak, James Howard, Michael Friedrich, Niroshan Hapu and Wayne James for comments provided.

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GEOPOLYMER CONCRETE RESEARCH STANDS STRONG AT CRC-LCL ANNUAL PARTICIPANTS FORUM The half way milestone for CRC-LCL was reached during the Annual Participant’s Forum last year as CEO Craig Heidrich represented the Australasian (iron & steel) Slag Association, gave a presentation regarding the progress of low carbon Geopolymer concrete research. Held from the 15th-16th November 2016 at the Australian National Maritime Museum in Sydney, Geopolymer concrete was discussed in depth. Craig Heidrich outlined ASA’s research and ways to remove barriers to the uptake of low carbon geopolymer concrete in Australia. Geopolymer concrete is the result of the reaction of materials containing aluminosilicate such as slag with alkalis to produce an inorganic polymer binder. It has an 80% lower carbon footprint than conventional general-purpose cement. Mr Heidrich said, ‘We are heading into a very important phase of the CRC-LCL with a series of demonstration projects with stakeholders such as City of Sydney, Ports NSW and VicRoads totaling $2.9 million. These demonstration projects will use low carbon geopolymer concrete for paving stones and precast structures very soon’. Mr Heidrich did highlight that a number of barriers still remain such as a lack of specifications and inclusion in key Australian Standards such as AS3600. However, despite these barriers, low carbon geopolymer concrete is still gaining some traction in public and private sectors.

One example of the use of the low carbon geopolymer concrete at Brisbane West Wellcamp Airport. It is also the largest application of geopolymer concrete in the world (70,000 m2). Read more: http://www. Mr Heidrich informed the Forum participants the key to increasing geopolymer concrete uptake is to bring together the entire supply chain to collaborate on projects. This approach ensures the performance and results are feed back into the industry as hard evidence. In addition to the low carbon geopolymer concrete, many other industry members partnering with Universities had a number of CRC-LCL sponsored projects holding a common goal of reducing the carbon footprint of Australia’s built environment. Other topics discussed at the Forum include: • The effects of solar power, • The storage on grid tariffs, • The benefits of mass produced modular housing • New digital tool that helps home buyers measure and alter the environmental footprint of potential homes (such as material selection and window placement. Overall the Forum provided another valuable opportunity to expand our understanding of how low carbon geopolymer concrete can reduce our industry carbon footprint.

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CONCRETE2017 Held in Adelaide, from the 22nd-25th October, Concrete 2017 will be the 28th Biennial National Conference of the Concrete institute of Australia and will be focused around the theme “Advances in Concrete Materials and Structures”. The Conference is dedicated to bringing together global leaders in the concrete industry, and will consider all aspects of concrete materials and structures – design, research, construction, maintenance and repair. The Conference is also host to the 3rd International Congress on Durability of Concrete (ICDC), an international forum for exchanging research results and displaying how concrete will continue to create durable buildings and structures for sustainable development in both local and global contexts. Concrete 2017 will offer participants from around the world the opportunity to connect face to face and share innovative and interesting ideas from the latest advances in concrete materials to the design and construction of fascinating concrete structures. The multidisciplinary theme of Concrete 2017 provides an excellent forum for networking and education and an opportunity to meet and interact with engineers, scientists, researchers, academics, practitioners and professionals, from Australia and overseas. Whether you attend technical sessions, participate in interactive forum discussions, or network with friends and colleagues, this conference will provide you with ample opportunity for professional growth. There will be many opportunities to sample the delights of South Australia’s world-renowned food, wine and scenery before or after the conference. The ASA is again sponsoring the event and will host an exhibition stand at the Conference for attendees to learn more about slag and the ASA’s role in the industry. Feel free to come over and say hi!

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Euroslag is the European Association of organisations concerned with all aspects of manufacturing and utilization of slag products. The Association deals with the promotion of slag, enables exchange of information & research as well as facilitating the interaction with governing bodies. Each year, approximately 45 million tonnes of ferrous slag (iron and steel slag) is generated in Europe. The 9th European Slag Conference will take place in Metz, France, from October 11th to 13th, 2017. Organised by Euroslag with the local support of AFOCO, the French Industrial Co-products Operators Association, the program includes the conference for the first 2 days during the 11th and 12th and technical visits on the last day. The location of the conference, Metz, is a prestigious historic city located in the heart of an attractive European triangle. The Conference takes place inside a XVIIth century military complex recently relined and converted in a modern well equipped Conference Centre. Read more about The 9th European Slag Conference here

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MEMBERSHIP SURVEY REMINDER The Australasian (iron & steel) Slag Association (ASA) publishes an annual survey for information regarding iron & steel slag production and sales by members and non-members for each calendar year. The Association publishes annual membership survey report, providing a brief overview and commentary on the statistics and figures returned by our survey participants in regards to their annual production and sales of iron & steel slags.

For those companies who have received the membership survey, this needs to be returned ASAP in order for the results to be aggregated and reported. If you are having any trouble completing the survey, please contact the office at 02 4258 0160 or by email at


Connections is produced twice a year for the benefit of ASA members and before each publication is drafted, an email is sent to all members urging them to contribute stories that they think are of interest. The types of content we are looking for include: • New developments or technologies • New projects • New employees We also have a Member Profile section, which is open to all member companies for contributions on behalf of the business in general, or a specific employee. So if you have an idea or even some content that you think might make an interesting article for our readers, get in contact with Editor, Bre McMahon today:

SUBSCRIBE TO Views expressed in Connections newsletter do not necessarily reflect the opinion of the Australasian Slag Association. All contributions are welcomed, though the publisher reserves the right to decline or edit for style grammar, length and legal reasons.

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Profile for HBM Group

Connections - April 2017  

Launched in 1998, Connections is an industry publication produced by the Australasian (iron & steel) Slag Association with the goal to disse...

Connections - April 2017  

Launched in 1998, Connections is an industry publication produced by the Australasian (iron & steel) Slag Association with the goal to disse...

Profile for hbmgroup