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Vol 14 | Issue 1 | April 2016


In this issue of Connections we reflect on the last five months of research, projects and industry wide changes affecting the Australasian (iron & steel) Slag Association, (ASA) our readers and most importantly our members. The ASA would like to thank all of our members past and present for their consistent commitment in furthering the mission of the ASA. “The ASA declares as its mission the promotion of the effective and beneficial use of iron and steel slags. This, the Association recognises, necessarily involves the collection, research and dissemination of available information for purposes of facilitating discourse and knowledge exchange amongst relevant stakeholders.” This edition examines the work currently being undertaken by the Cooperative Research Centre for Low Carbon Living Participants Annual Forum highlighted some up and coming applications and research from students and professors in their field over the two day event. The employee profile for this edition is from Gary Styan, from BlueScope Steel, who provides us with a glimpse into his career and experience around blast furnaces. Gary started as an apprentice in 1981 and is now blast furnace operator.


This year, the ASA has also begun work on Quick Reference Guide 2: Chemical Stabilisation now that QRG:4 has been published. QRG:2 is 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8.

Editorial CRC-LCL – Participants Annual Forum 2015 Quick Reference Guide: 2 - Chemical Stabilization 8th EuroSlag Conference 21st – 23rd October 2015 Voestalpine Stahlwelt Linz, Austria Sydney Kingsford-Smith Airport - SE Sector Aprons A Few Minutes in the Blast Furnace - Gary Styan Procurement of Construction Products 2nd Edition No Concrete Solution to Construction Erosion Sulfur Based Concrete - Do green men live in green houses? Conference: CMIC16 Concrete 2017 - Advances in Concrete Materials and Structures The ASA Team Continues to Grow Membership Survey Reminder Write for Connections

planned for publication in the November edition. To learn more about the QRG’s or to get involved with this project, contact us with the information provided on the last page of this edition. Towards the end of 2015, CEO Craig Heidrich was invited to present a country update to the 8th EuroSlag Conference which proved to be greatly beneficial. A review of the Conference outcomes are in this issue. Other notable upcoming conferences include the Construction Materials Industry Conference 2016 and Concrete 2017. An upgrade to the Sydney Kingsford-Smith Airport is also currently underway. ASMS provide an update of the project, which includes two new aircraft parking bays adjacent to the long-term car parks and widening works to the taxiways at the Airport. The use of slag has been instrumental to the success of the project as the bays had to be able to support 550-ton aircrafts for long periods of time. Finally we welcome a new member to Team HBM, Ms Breannan McMahon, replacing Lauren Hatton. Bre is currently studying a Bachelor of Commerce at the University of Wollongong. We wish our members and all readers a productive coming year. Regards, Team ASA.




CONNECTIONS EDITORIAL TEAM | April 2016 Edition Connections is published by the ASA The Australasian (Iron & Steel) Slag Association Wollongong NSW 2500 Ph: 02 4258 0160 • Fax: 02 4258 0169 Email: Web: Executive Director: Craig Heidrich Editor: Aiden Chilcott Editorial Coordinator: Jake Latham Design: Troy Hawkins Contributors: Craig Heidrich, Carol Wilson, Bre McMahon, Gavin Tory, Gary Styan Connections is a quarterly publication with an online circulation of 1,500 copies

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The CRC for Low Carbon Living’s Participants Annual Forum was held 26th -27th November 2015 at the Australia Maritime Museum in Sydney. The conference-style event provided a platform to combine research with industry and government stakeholders with an interest in lowering carbon emissions of the future built environment across Australia. The first day of the Forum focused on how government from all levels can utilise low carbon technologies and tools to reduce the built environment emissions. The afternoon featured a keynote speech from The South Australian Minister for Sustainability, Environment and Conservation, The Hon Ian Hunter MLC. He discussed the recent announcement to bring South Australia’s carbon emission levels to zero by 2050. His presentation addressed the multiple challenges and opportunities this presents. On the final day, attendees heard from international speaker Professor Nicole Woolsey Biggart, Research Professor and Dean Emerita of Management, University of California Davis. Professor Biggart provided insights into her research regarding low carbon buildings and cities with examples of how working with business can break down energy efficiency barriers to create opportunities to utilise the University’s research and innovation. The Australasian (iron & steel) Slag Association is a foundation member and driving projects of significant value to our members. CRCLCL’s research projects are increasingly being taken up by industry and government partners, leading to better policy outcomes and a more competitive Australian industry. Current Association project summaries can be found at:


The event covered a multitude of topics, guided by seven presenters, the lecture slides of which can be found here: (http://www.lowcarbonlivingcrc.


A photo gallery of the event have also uploaded on the CRC website here: ( content/index.html), along with Student posters which were featured during the forum. Have a look at the CRC-LCL website (http://www. to view numerous documents and resources with regards to their past, and ongoing projects.

CRC for Low Carbon Living’s Participants Annual Forum Video link


This year’s Participants Annual Forum will be held on Tuesday, 15 November – Wednesday, 16 November 2016 at the Australian National Maritime Museum, 2 Murray St, Sydney. Once again the Participants Annual Forum is an opportunity to hear a summary of the CRC-LCL’s latest research, network with peers and hear from local and international built environment industry experts. For further details of the event, visit:

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Quick Reference Guide: 2 - Chemical Stabilization After the successful release of QRG4 – Electric Arc Furnace Slag in late 2015, the Association has commenced drafting of QRG2. Chemical Stabilisation. Cementitious stabilisation has been used in Australia for many years. The development of supplementary cementitious materials has broadened the range of cementitious products from just general-purpose cement. One of the major benefits of using slag products in a Stabilisation pavement is the slow rate of the cementation process. The pavement material can be reworked up to two days or more after initial mixing depending on the binder, without reducing the final strength. This enables: • • • • •

The use of longer haul times and distances Temporary stockpiling before use A contingency for unforeseen problems Extended trimming and GBFS compaction times Improved rideability as a result of longer working times allowing better finishing.

This QRG seeks to update and inform readers on the specific aspects of stabilization in terms of its physical and chemical characteristics, environmental impact, applications and case studies. The project will rely significantly on member input, all contributions are welcomed. If you would like to contribute to this publication, contact us at or call the office at 02 4258 0160. If you wish to read previously published Quick Reference Guides, they are available for download at the Association website - The previous editions include: • QRG 1 – Roads Guide Supplement on General Applications • QRG 3 – Steel Furnace Slag Guide • QRG 4 – Electric Arc Furnace Slag

8th EuroSlag Conference 21st – 23rd October 2015 Voestalpine Stahlwelt Linz, Austria The purpose of the 8th European Slag Conference was to exchange knowledge related to technical, application, environmental and legal purposes for all kinds of metallurgical slags and other by-products from across the globe, with a focus on Austria and Europe. The conference was attended by some 26 different countries with some 260 participants over 3 days. With the global slag market estimated to be worth $28 billion by 2020, this Conference continues to grow in bringing together leading international companies concerned with the utilisation and manufacture of ferrous slag products. The audience included companies or public authorities; technical schools and research institutes; universities and students. The Association’s CEO Craig Heidrich was invited to provide a country update and share experiences in the use of slag across various applications. The technical program included 52 papers over two (2) solid days. An interesting observation was the dislocation of regional and country regulation and treatment of slags. One session was dedicated to recent environmental restrictions placed on the use of steel slag in asphalt applications. Green Peace own independent investigation showed when compared with local natural aggregate sources, steel slag offered no increased environmental risk. The balance of the conference focused on innovation and product developments which highlighted the value added benefits of slag. Copies of technical papers can be made available on request by contacting us at or call the office at 02 4258 0160.

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SYDNEY KINGSFORD-SMITH AIRPORT SE SECTOR APRONS The Sydney Kingsford-Smith (SKS) Airport sees 36 million passengers arrive and depart from its doors each year. As it is Sydney’s only airport, many propositions have been made in the past five decades to create a second airport for the city. While discussions continue, efforts must be made to increase efficiency and size of SKS Airport to allow for the increased demand from international airlines. One method of improving the Airport is through the construction of two new aircraft parking bays adjacent to the long-term car parks along with widening the taxiways at Sydney’s Kingsford-Smith Airport. Australian Steel Mill Services (ASMS), has been contracted to provide RBU800 Road base & RBM804 Modified Road base. The specific road base is durable, proven and easily applied base materials exceeding compressive strength requirements. ASMS RBU800 has been utilised as the base material in compacted layers under flexible asphalt and rigid concrete pavements. Whereas the ASMS RBM804 modified material has been used in areas adjoining existing rigid pavements. Challenges of the project include… • High static and dynamic loadings from large passenger aircrafts, including parking bays • Tight delivery timeframes, particularly on airside works • A mix of rigid and flexible pavements • Varying quality, sandy sub-base. Sydney Airports Corporation (SACL) specified pavement designs utilising blast furnace slag-based road bases. By working closely with the civil contractor (Ward Civil), ASMS were able to provide a quality solution and meet all service delivery expectations. ASMS were able to provide unmodified and modified road base solutions that exceeded SACL’s specifications.

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BLAST FURNACE - GARY STYAN What was the beginning of your career like?

I was 16 when I begun working in 1981. My first year was spent in a training workshop with two hundred and twenty other Fitter & Turner apprentices, we all had to learn the skills that were required to work competently and safely. My second and third years were spent at the Works Soaking Pits and the Stainless Steel Building where I worked on stainless steel slab grinding machines within the Slab Yard department.

What happened when the first big down turn hit the steel industry in 1984?

It was the final year of my apprenticeship and I had just become a member of the Slab Yard Overhead Crane Maintenance Team when the down turn happened. The “Voluntary Retirement Scheme” was developed as a result and over 99% of employees were retrenched, leaving only 20 apprentices with fulltime employment. That’s when I was employed as a tradesman.

Did you ever leave the Slab Yard Overhead Cranes team?

Yes, after 10 years of working within a small crew I transferred to work at a world first strip casting process, it was called Project M. Located within the steel works, this is where I also left my trade to become an operator and started working 12 hour shifts. I can confidently say those ten years were the most enjoyable time of my employment so far.

What is the difference between Blast Furnace 6 against Blast Furnace 5 and why were you relocated?

The slag at Number 6 Blast furnace was directed to slag pots where it was then granulated or poured into pits to be removed for rock slag after cooling, whereas the slag at the Number 5 Blast Furnace either runs into the granulator or t the open slag pits for rock slag. I was transferred to the Number 5 Blast Furnace after an unfortunate incident that another employee experienced led to Number 6 Blast Furnace being closed in 2009.

What are you now required to do as a Blast Furnace Operator?

There are 4 main operational rules that I must follow; 1. Tapping the furnace for liquids. · This is done with a 4-meter long drill, and various drill tip sizes are available depending on the drainage required at the time. 2. Controlling metal flow · An open trough collects the iron and slag where it then separates and is directed into 2 different runners. · The iron runs into a tilting spout and then steered into one of two directions in order to fill torpedo ladles be taken away to the steel makers. 3. Taking metal and slag samples. · Each ladle is tested to assist the process controllers. · The chemistry of the liquids in the furnace are tested and the metal temperature checked with the average ladle being 1515 degrees Celsius. 4. Plugging the furnace · This is done with a hydraulic mud gun that pushes clay into the previously drilled tap hole.

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Procurement of Construction Products 2nd Edition The Australasian Procurement and Construction Council (APCC) has released the second edition to the widely recognised “Procurement of Construction Products: A Guide to Achieving Compliance”. The Guide is aimed at assisting anyone involved in the building industry to ensure the building products they select, buy and install meet Australian building standards. The Guide fills the gap in credible and accurate information on ‘safety critical’ products, to verify construction product conformance, in order to determine whether or not a product is fit-for-purpose. The Guide now recognises 34 industry (The Australasian (iron & steel) Slag Association participated) led product accreditation schemes and guidance information across a range of building product categories including: Reinforcing and structural steel Cementitious materials for concrete Wood products, Glazing products Electrical products Fire safety services

Plumbing products Insulation products Coating products Building products

The Guide is an important and valuable contribution to the efficiency and reliability of the building and construction industry. This Guide has been jointly developed by 30 key construction industry stakeholders and supported by many others. You can download the 2nd Edition through the ASA website HERE. (

No Concrete Solution to Construction Erosion The issue of concrete cancer and erosion is becoming seemingly more common across Australia, and is escalating to being a widespread problem on Queensland’s east coast. The problem is evident in numerous steel-reinforced 1970’s-1980’s apartment towers and complexes. Laws are now under review, which prevent the timely repair of concrete cancer in older high-rise buildings. The property council of Australia, Queensland’s senior property body is calling for changes to this legislation. According to Strata Community Australia’s President James Freestun, concrete cancer checks need to be conducted every 2-3 years. The result of untreated concrete cancer can include costly repairs, or buildings, which have irreparable damage and even with extensive repairs, will not be able to meet Australian building standards. This presents problems not only for the investors or tenants, but also for the locality in general.

However, this issue is not confined to the north coast. Evidence of concrete cancer has been reported in a Sydney rail bridge, which supports the commute of 11,000 passengers across the Hawkesbury River everyday. With cracks up to 2 metres long, it is alleged that the pylon is so severely deteriorated that it crumbles away like a powder. Construction will begin in 2016 to repair the damage, with millions expected to be invested in the project.

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Sulfur Based Concrete Do green men live in green houses? Concrete has been at the core of the industrialisation of our planet. Its formula and properties have changed and evolved over time as it is reinvented and rediscovered. It is estimated that over 2 billion tonnes of concrete are produced every year, with usage expected to quadruple by 2050. In the coming decade, astronauts will begin the history-making journey to Mars. The colonisation of such planets will also rely on concrete. Northwestern McCormick School of Engineering, led by Associate Professor Gianlica Cusatis have developed a Martian concrete using only materials naturally occurring on the red planet. The Martian concrete takes a mere 1-2 hours to develop compared to the usual 28 hours. The ability to manufacture concrete from the existing resources on the planet would result in significant cost savings stemming from the reduced need to transport materials from Earth, it would also be a much more sustainable and efficient system. Mars is highly devoid of water, which required other methods to be employed to manufacture the concrete. The team designed a sulfur-based concrete which can not only match the strength of common concrete used on Earth, but in initial tests is thought to be up to 2.5 times stronger than Portland cement based concrete. Cusatis hypothesizes that this is due to the small size of the particles in Martian soil. Where regular concrete uses materials like sand as an inert filler, a reaction occurs between the sulfur and the soil particles adding further to the strength of the material. The team also discovered that when the concrete is re-heated to a semi-liquid state and re-casted, it becomes even stronger. Cusatis believes this could be due to the additional reduction in particle size. Sulfur is abundant on Mars, with estimates that up to 17% of the entire planet are made from the substance. Cusatis used a Martian soil simulant created by NASA consisting of silicon dioxide, aluminum oxide, iron oxide, titanium dioxide, and mixing this aggregate 50/50 with molten sulfur, to manufacture blocks of quasi-Martian concrete. Sulfur-based concrete is not a new concept however. Material scientists explored the possibility of building bases on the moon using the substance. However, in order to manufacture the concrete, the sulfur needs to be in a liquid state which is impossible in a vacuum as it will transform straight from a solid to a gas. The atmosphere on Mars is sufficient to facilitate the heating to a liquid form (240°C) which is necessary for the concrete manufacture. One distinctive property of the material is its ability to be melted and re-cast. Once it is heated to a certain high temperature it becomes malleable and essentially and almost infinitely reusable. With concrete production being the third largest contributor to CO2 emissions on earth as well as being very time-consuming and resource-intensive, a more environmentally friendly alternative being developed for Mars might prevent the environmental disasters which are destined for Earth.

The biannual Construction Materials Industry Conference is on again in 2016. The event is proposed to run from 25th -28th October at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre. Further details are expected to be announced in the coming months. We will inform our readers through coming Connections Selections on any new updates to the Conference. The ASA will have a presence at CMIC16, further disseminating information about Iron and Steel Slag industry to other industry groups.

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After the vastly successful Concrete 2015, held in September, the Concrete Institute of Australia has announced Concrete 2017 – “Advances in Concrete Materials and Structures”. The event will be hosted in Adelaide, South Australia, from 22-25 October 2017. The Conference organizing committee is headed by Co-Chairs, Professor Julie Mills (University SA) and Associate Professor Rebecca Gravina, who promise a fantastic event. Call for abstracts will open in April 2016, and registrations will open in 2017, so be sure to keep an eye out.

The ASA Team Continues to Grow

In 2016 we have already seen a multitude of changes. Sadly we said goodbye to Lauren Hatton and have now welcomed Ms Breannan McMahon to HBM Group (Association managers) as the second Marketing Coordinator. Breannan has just begun her Bachelor of Commerce at the University of Wollongong. She is majoring in both Marketing and Public Relations and is now learning about all things slag. She is currently working hard on projects such as Quick Reference Guide 2: Chemical Stabilization and Connections Selections! We wish Breannan the best of luck on her recent appointment and look forward to seeing some great work from her in the coming year.

Membership Survey Reminder

For those companies who have received the membership survey, just a reminder that this needs to be returned ASAP in order for the results to be aggregated and reported. These figures will also be used to determine appropriate membership dues. If you are having any troubles 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. 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, Aiden Chilcott 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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Connections - April 2016  
Connections - April 2016  

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