Benefits of joining A3CM

  • Free membership

  • Networking opportunities within a like-minded community

  • Access to the latest technology and manufacturing capabilities, alongside academic resources

  • Promotion of your brand via our online platform


Welcome to the Association of Alkali Activated Cementitious Materials (A3CM), a new non-profit, mission driven organisation created to support the adoption of alkali activated cementitious materials (AACMs), alternative binders to Portland cement (PC) that are derived from industrial by-products, hence reducing waste to landfill and resource depletion; PC requires approximately 4 tonnes of raw materials to produce 1 tonne of PC product.

As there is less processing involved in the creation of these binders, they have a lower embodied carbon and therefore have less of an impact on global warming and climate change. Currently the PC industry accounts for the production of approximately 8% of the global CO2 emissions. If PC was a country, it would be ranked as the 3rd largest emitter of CO2.

For the built environment to be sustainable, not only must we address the embodied environmental impacts of our new construction, but we must also maintain and repair our existing buildings, to prolong their service life and ensure they are climate change resilient. AACM can be more durable than PC systems and have been used extensively in the repair of failing PC concrete systems, prolonging their life and enhancing the durability of the structures. AACM have enhanced:

  • Chloride resistance
  • Acid resistance
  • Sulphate resistance
  • Resistance to Alkali Silica Reaction (ASR)
  • Resistance to fire

Although the concept of AACMs in construction globally has been known since at least 1908 and their durability in-service has been demonstrated over several decades, significant research into these materials only commenced in the 1990’s as highlighted in the RILEM State of the Art Report (STAR) 224-AAM Alkali Activated Materials.

What is an AACM?

AACMs are a class of cements produced at room temperature via a chemical reaction between a poorly crystalline aluminosilicate material (the precursor) and a highly alkaline solution (the activator) to form a hardened solid. They replace Portland Cement (PC) either partially or totally.

AACMs are specified by (PAS) 8820 2016, which aims to facilitate the use of AACMs within construction by providing alternative specification approaches as a performance-based specification.

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Industry Projects

Low Carbon Concrete Within Aggressive Ground – LOCOWAG

Global demand for concrete, the primary volume construction material for most structural applications, continues to grow. The majority of concrete relies on use of Portland cement (PC) as the only economic binder meeting performance and durability requirements under the wide range of conditions in which concrete is used. However, PC manufacture accounts for c.8% of global CO2 emissions so alternatives are urgently required. 50% of ready-mixed concrete is used in foundations below ground and must be carefully designed to resist chemical attack (e.g. sulfates as described in BRE Special Digest 1, Concrete in Aggressive Ground), often increasing the amount of cement used in the foundation and consequently the environmental impact. However, AACMs are not covered by existing concrete standards and therefore unable to be widely used.

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