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World’s fastest airport concrete pour takes place in Melbourne

July 9, 2019 Airport No Comments Email Email

Planes weighing more than 550 tonnes were able to pass over concrete that was poured just three hours prior thanks to new quick set concrete delivered by Antoun Civil.

Close to 1,000m3 of concrete was used to replace and revamp Melbourne Airport’s taxiways with zero impact to the airport’s 24/7 operations.

Head contractor Antoun Civil worked in collaboration with Melbourne Airport, Eifers Concrete, Turner & Townsend and Jacobs to deliver the project in May 2019.

Works involved the delivery of 24 independent slabs ranging from 32m3 to 40m3 in volume The critical element to the project was to ensure the construction and curing of the concrete slabs did not exceed a total of a five hour period; allowing large aircraft (Jumbo or A380) to travel across the slab when airport operations re-commenced at 5.30am.

”We love a challenge but we were always confident that we would be able to meet the operational requirements of the airport, while achieving the structural strengths required to take the loads of the aircraft” said Antoun Civil Managing Director Robert Antoun.

NATA accredited Coffey Testing performed regular independent flexural strength testing of the concrete mixture. On average; Antoun was achieving 2.5Mpa after 1.5hours and 4.6Mpa after 4hours with the required loading strength being 3.1MPa.

“Portland cements take a lot longer to achieve these strengths and we worked with CTS RapidSet (CTS RapidSet is a hydraulic cement that requires no calcium chloride accelerants or other additives) for the last 10 years to pioneer our E6 methodology, to ensure the delivery of mission critical concrete solutions” added Robert. (refer to the project summary below).

Eight volumetric units worked in unison with a large team of technical professionals to complete the project. Much of the logistics, operations and innovation occurred prior to the team arriving onsite. The team conducted intensive workshops prior to the delivery to ensure operational requirements were adhered to including design specifications and scenario planning.

“Melbourne Airport is Australia’s busiest 24/7 airport, making any kind of construction challenging in such a busy environment,” said Melbourne Airport Chief of Aviation Andrew Gardiner.

“We were lucky to find contractors that could help us upgrade our taxiways in such a short timeframe, without impacting flights and overall airport operation.

“We will continue to invest into making improvements on the airfield and inside our terminals to enhance the traveller experience now and into the future.”

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