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September 22, 2009

A greener and stronger concrete? Maybe in the future, but one company is having a hard time fighting the construction industry to accept the new product called metakaolin. According to the company, metakaolin is more durable than regular Portland cement, cheaper and reduces greenhouse-gas emissions.

EllisDon has already been sold on the product for one of their projects.

Does the construction industry have a case against metakaolin, or is this much similar to Hank Rearden’s metal alloy (Rearden Metal) in Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged? Read the below excerpt from an article in the Globe and Mail:

A Canadian company is building a case for a greener, stronger concrete but is fighting resistance in the construction industry.

“The cement and the concrete industry is enormous worldwide. … And they do things a certain way and they have done those things that way for years and years and years,” says Barry Lester, chairman of Whitemud Resources Inc., which mines kaolin, a white-coloured clay, in southern Saskatchewan and turns it into metakaolin, which is used as a supplement to cement.

Whitemud says metakaolin is more durable than regular Portland cement, or any of the other widely used supplementary cement materials, and it is bringing it to market cheaper than previous suppliers.

It reduces greenhouse-gas emissions, saves time and money on the construction site and will make buildings and other construction projects last 100 years instead of 50 or 60, says Whitemud, which is based in Calgary.

“The only downside to metakaolin is inertia in the industry,” adds Mr. Lester, who helped to lead the engineering team for the Confederation Bridge, which links Prince Edward Island to the mainland.

Who is John Galt?

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