Boral Material Technologies : Fly Ash&CCP Management

We first call your attention to our recent dispatch, now accessible via:

Federal Highway Administration Recommends Fly Ash Concrete | Research & Development;

which included, among other items, information concerning established standards for the utilization of Coal  Ash as a performance-enhancing additive for Portland-type cement, especially as cement is used as concrete in road construction and pavement.

Those standards include the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) C618 specification, which "covers the use of fly ash ... in concrete"; and, the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) M 295 "Standard Specification for Coal Fly Ash ... Use in Concrete".

Somewhat unsurprisingly, we find herein that the Texas-based subsidiary of a foreign company is now promoting the use of Coal Fly Ash in highway construction, as per the AASHTO standard and the FHWA recommendation noted in that earlier report.

The initial link in this dispatch will take you to:

"Boral Material Technologies Incorporated", "BMTI", of San Antonio, Texas, who are a subsidiary of Sydney, Australia's "Boral Limited", which was established all the way back in 1946, and, which, according to their web site, "focuses its operations in building and construction materials with annual sales over $2 billion (US) and employs over 11,000 personnel in 500 operating sites worldwide".

BMTI declare themselves to be "a leading marketer of fly ash and all coal combustion products", and, to have "more than four decades of experience marketing fly ash to the concrete industry".

Their product catalogue includes:

"Class F Fly Ash" which "reduces bleeding and segregation in plastic concrete. In hardened concrete, (it)increases ultimate strength, reduces drying shrinkage and permeability, lowers heat of hydration and reduces creep"; and:

"Class C Fly Ash" which "provides unique self-hardening characteristics and reduces permeability", and, which is especially "useful in pre-stressed concrete and other applications where high early strengths are required".

And, they offer additional, Fly Ash-based: "Road Construction Products" which, they say, "offer cost-effective alternatives and performance advantages to conventional road and highway construction and repair materials", and, which include:

"Boral RoadMix Base (TM)", a "combination of bottom ash and pelletized high calcium fly ash" made by a proprietary process which "provides high durability as a semi-rigid, non-plastic road base material" and is, as well, "very effective in certain fills and beneath construction slabs".

They also make a Fly Ash-based filler for "Stone Matrix Asphalt" which they call "Boral Intrix (TM)"; and a product they call 'Durabase (TM)", which is a "high calcium fly ash" used "for both roadbed and waste stabilization projects".

But, that isn't all.

As we have begun to document for you, as in:

Carbon Dioxide + Coal Fly Ash = Synthetic Lumber | Research & Development; which concerned, in part: "US Patent Application 20080029925 - Filled Polymer Composite and Synthetic Building Material; 2008;  Abstract: The invention relates to composite compositions having a matrix of polymer networks and dispersed phases of particulate or fibrous materials. The matrix is filled with a particulate phase, which can be selected from one or more of a variety of components, such as fly ash particles";

Coal Fly Ash can also be used as a "filler" for certain types of plastic, both to improve the properties and to lessen the cost of articles made from that plastic. Such use of inert fillers in molded plastics is quite common. Anyone who has ever gone bowling, for instance, and used the now quite common polyurethane bowling balls, might be surprised to learn that the weights of those balls are dependent on the amount of ground limestone, or, now, perhaps a more advanced filler, that was added to the resin from which the balls were molded.

In any case, Boral Material Technologies has begun to focus attention on the use of Coal Fly Ash in such plastics applications. As witness, we submit, with a caution that our necessarily-brief, and seemingly repetitive, excerpts don't adequately describe or differentiate the various technologies, three US Patents awarded to a key team of Boral scientists, for the utilization of Coal Fly Ash as a property-enhancing filler in various plastic and polymer compositions:

"United States Patent: 6916863 - Filler Comprising Fly Ash for Use in Polymer Composites

Date: July, 2005

Inventors: Raymond Hemmings, et. al., GA, TX and CA

Assignee: Boral Material Technologies, TX

Abstract: The present invention is a fly ash filler or filler blend having a particle size distribution with at least three modes that can be combined with a polymer at higher filler loadings to produce a filled polymer for polymer composites that, in many cases, can produce improved mechanical properties for the polymer composites over polymer composites using conventional fillers. As a result, superior polymer composites (e.g. those used in carpet backing) can be produced at a lower cost than conventional polymer composites. The present invention also includes a method for producing a polymer composite, comprising the steps of combining a polymer with a fly ash filler or a filler blend having a particle size distribution with at least three modes to produce a filled polymer and producing a polymer composite with the resulting filled polymer. The present invention further includes a method of determining what fly ashes can be used as fillers for polymer composites"; and:

"United States Patent: 7241818 - Filler Comprising Fly Ash for Use in Composites

Date: July, 2007

Inventors: Raymond Hemmings, et. al., GA, TX and CA

Assignee: Boral Material Technologies, TX

Abstract: The present invention is a fly ash filler or filler blend having a particle size distribution with at least three modes that can be combined with a polymer or bitumen at higher filler loadings to produce a filled polymer or bitumen for composites that, in many cases, can produce improved mechanical properties for the composites over composites using conventional fillers. As a result, superior composites (e.g. those used in carpet backing) can be produced at a lower cost than conventional composites. The present invention also includes a method for producing a composite, comprising the steps of combining a polymer or bitumen with a fly ash filler or a filler blend having a particle size distribution with at least three modes to produce a filled polymer or bitumen and producing a composite with the resulting filled polymer or bitumen. The present invention further includes a method of determining what fly ashes can be used as fillers for composites"; and:

"United States Patent: 7879144 - Filler Comprising Fly Ash for Use in Polymer Composites

Date: February, 2011

Inventors: Raymond Hemmings, et. al., GA, TX and CA

Assignee: Boral Material Technologies, TX

Abstract: The present invention is a fly ash filler or filler blend having a particle size distribution with at least three modes that can be combined with a polymer at higher filler loadings to produce a filled polymer for polymer composites that, in many cases, can produce improved mechanical properties for the polymer composites over polymer composites using conventional fillers. As a result, superior polymer composites (e.g. those used in carpet backing) can be produced at a lower cost than conventional polymer composites. The present invention also includes a method for producing a polymer composite, comprising the steps of combining a polymer with a fly ash filler or a filler blend having a particle size distribution with at least three modes to produce a filled polymer and producing a polymer composite with the resulting filled polymer. The present invention further includes a method of determining what fly ashes can be used as fillers for polymer composites."

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As noted, our brief excerpts don't differentiate the several technologies. But, the point, we think, is made:

Contrary to all the polished-shoe butt-kicking we've been treated to, our Coal Fly Ash isn't a "toxic", or otherwise hazardous, waste we must somehow, at great unproductive expense to us, find some way to satisfactorily dispose of.

It is, instead, a useful by-product of our vital Coal-use industries that can be employed to improve the properties of things made with both concrete and plastic.

Coal Fly Ash is a valuable raw material resource which could bring additional jobs and additional profit to United States Coal Country.

We should start looking at it, and start treating it, that way.

West Virginia Coal Association - PO Box 3923 - Charleston, WV 25339 | 304-342-4153 | website developed by brickswithoutstraw