LafargeHolcim supplies high-performance concrete for the European XFEL super laser in Germany
High performance concrete from LafargeHolcim lines the 3.4 kilometer tunnel housing the world’s most powerful X-ray laser, European XFEL near Hamburg, Germany.
The European XFEL generates extremely intense X-ray flashes that are used by researchers from all over the world. The flashes produced in underground tunnels allow scientists to map atomic details of viruses, film chemical reactions, and study the processes in the interior of planets.
LafargeHolcim, through its local company Holcim Deutschland, delivered specialist concrete for the facility’s extensive underground tunnel system including easy-to-pump heavy concrete for radioprotection and underwater concrete.
LafargeHolcim’s concrete engineers also developed special concrete mixes specifically for European XFEL. These fulfilled the building contractor’s requirements for reduced content of aluminum, natrum, silica and magnesium, which can traditionally be found in concrete and may have interfered with the highly sensitive measurements. Some concrete mixes, for instance, required the use of special limestone chippings to deliver particularly low silica levels. Together with the contractor, the Group carried out extensive chemical and physical tests for every concrete mix to ensure the highest performance levels for the project could be reached.
LafargeHolcim also developed an integrated logistics solution for the European XFEL. As part of the concept the Group had to make sure that deliveries complied with strict traffic, dust and noise regulations.
Today, with its global R&D center in Lyon, France, and building on the extensive tunneling expertise available in the Group, particularly in Switzerland, LafargeHolcim is uniquely placed to support architects and engineers by delivering construction materials to handle the specifications of technologically challenging projects all over the world.
@EPC World Media