Lafarge Accelerates Its Innovations in Concrete and Launches Two New Products on an International Scale: Extensia(TM) and Chronolia(TM)



    PARIS, June 12 /CNW/ - Lafarge announces the launch of two new
value-added concrete products, which represent a real scientific leap forward
in the rapidly transforming construction sector: Extensia(TM) and
Chronolia(TM) are Lafarge's new responses to the needs of construction
professionals.

    Extensia(TM) and Chronolia(TM) are high-performance concrete products,
which were developed thanks to the know-how of the Lafarge Research &
Development teams and their advanced scientific knowledge of the behaviour of
concrete at every stage of production, implementation and lifespan. It took
several years of research to develop a completely unique methodology for
formulating concrete that ensures impeccable product regularity and quality
using locally available raw materials.

    Extensia(TM) and Chronolia(TM) improve construction site working
conditions, with each product designed to meet a specific challenge in the
building sector. Initially, these two value-added concrete products will be
rolled out in France, the United Kingdom and North America.

    CHRONOLIA(TM), THE CONSTRUCTION SITE BOOSTER

    Chronolia(TM) combines two apparently contradictory features requested by
customers: a concrete product that can be transported and handled like
conventional fluid concrete, and which, once laid, very rapidly develops high
mechanical strength.

    Chronolia(TM) responds to these two requirements: whereas between 12 and
20 hours are needed before formwork can be removed with conventional concrete,
Chronolia(TM) becomes resistant in record time and formwork can be removed
just four hours after manufacture. With the same workability as a conventional
ready-mix concrete, it can be used on all construction sites, as well as to
repair road surfaces and civil engineering structures, which means they can be
brought back into service very rapidly. With such a rapid setting time,
Chronolia(TM) makes it possible to reduce possible disruption caused by
construction sites and increase efficiency and productivity. It also means
that it is possible to rethink the organization of a building site before work
begins, in terms of deadlines, cycle times, the use of equipment and costs.

    EXTENSIA(TM), THE NEW DIMENSIONS OF CONCRETE

    With conventional concrete, the maximum possible joint-free surface area
is 25m2. Extensia(TM) enables the construction of surface areas of up to 400m2
without joints, thus limiting the problem of cracks and their consequent
maintenance costs. Extensia(TM) was specially designed for concrete flooring
applications, by nature subject to heavy traffic and storage loads, and it
offers increased resistance compared with conventional concrete and better
performance in terms of abrasion, flexion and traction. This allows a
reduction in slab thickness compared to conventional concrete. With a lower
quantity of raw materials employed and no need for steel mesh or steel fibers,
Extensia(TM) makes it possible to reduce the CO2 emissions associated with the
production of concrete flooring.

    THE INEXHAUSTIBLE PROPERTIES OF CONCRETE

    Concrete, the second most used product in the world, is a mixture of
cement, crushed stone (aggregates) and sand, to which water is added. This
material, the first formulations of which date back to the 1st century B.C.,
has a host of qualities, particularly in terms of resistance, durability,
thermal inertia and sound insulation.

    The techniques and instruments developed over the last twenty years have
enabled the adoption of a scientific approach to research into cement and
concrete on a nanometric scale. This has revealed the great technical
complexity of concrete in numerous aspects (physical and chemical phenomena,
sensitivity to external parameters, development of mechanisms over time,
etc.).

    In this way, Lafarge researchers have been able to identify and gain a
better understanding of the different phenomena underlying the behaviour of
concrete. Knowledge that has led to the development of ultra-high performance
concrete products that are more ductile, more durable and more resistant, and
self-placing concretes, which have a more esthetic appearance and are easier
to use on work sites. These materials enable Lafarge to respond to the ever
more complex demands of architects, engineers, owners and contractors, while
working with the other players in the sector to re-think construction systems
and design buildings that consume less energy and, therefore, have a reduced
ecological footprint.

    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

    Lafarge is the world leader in building materials, with top-ranking
positions in all of its businesses: Cement, Aggregates & Concrete and Gypsum.
With 71,000 employees in over 70 countries, Lafarge posted sales of Euros 17
billion in 2006.

    Lafarge has been committed to sustainable development for many years,
pursuing a strategy that combines industrial know-how with performance, value
creation, respect for employees and local cultures, environmental protection
and the conservation of natural resources and energy. Lafarge is the only
company in the construction materials sector to be listed in the 2007 '100
Global Most Sustainable Corporations in the World'. To make advances in
building materials, Lafarge places the customer at the heart of its concerns.
It offers the construction industry and the general public innovative
solutions bringing greater safety, comfort and quality to their everyday
surroundings.

    Additional information is available on the web site at www.lafarge.com.




For further information:

For further information: Lafarge Communications: Stephanie Tessier,
+33(1) 44 34 92 32 Stephanie.tessier@lafarge.com or Press Relations: Lucy
Wadge, +33(1) 44 34 19 47 Lucy.wadge@lafarge.com or Claire Mathieu, +33(1) 44
34 18 18 Claire.mathieu@lafarge.com

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