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HS2 approves digital concrete testing

A truck mixer delivers concrete to HS2
HS2 adopts hi-tech digital concrete testing to cut carbon on the project: Pioneering technology enables real-time monitoring, measurement, and management of fresh concrete properties during transportation.

HS2 Ltd has approved the rollout of digital concrete testing following a successful trial with its main works contractor, Balfour Beatty Vinci.

The rollout of digital concrete testing follows a two-year trial of the system by BBV, working with supply chain partners Saint Gobain Construction Chemicals to develop Verifi, alongside concrete supply partners Tarmac and Aggregate Industries who tested and validated the system.

Verifi enables real-time monitoring, measurement, and management of fresh concrete properties during transportation. By using ‘on-truck’ sensors linked to proprietary patented algorithms, Verifi is the first digital solution to replace manual consistence and temperature testing of fresh concrete.

In simple terms, this means the concrete truck mixer tracks itself to the point of delivery, tests itself prior to discharge and auto-generates pour records for quality assurance purposes.

One of the key benefits of the system is the elimination of concrete waste which would have been produced from manual sampling and testing. When the solution is rolled out across BBV’s section of the route, this could result in cutting 1,500 tonnes of carbon.

Analyzing the entire volume in the truck instead of spot samples results in improved quality control and more accurate readings. Safety is also improved due to less plant-person interface and manual handling on site.

In addition, it enhances productivity and efficiency by delivering clear digital readouts, eliminating delays associated with sampling and testing processes, which allows for better scheduling and reduces potential bottlenecks in the construction timeline.

Ryan Griffith, HS2 technical and quality manager at Tarmac, said: “The concrete industry is truly modernizing. The carbon benefits and transparency from plant to pour are now a reality with the acceptance of Verifi digital consistency measurements for the concrete we supply for the construction of HS2.

“Having worked closely with BBV and Verifi on implementing this technology, it is a huge step forward to have a complete digital concrete quality system that is improving outcomes for customers.”

Joseph Hartley, HS2 technical manager at Aggregate Industries said: ‘’Working with Verifi is a monumental step change in supplying quality assured concrete to our customers. The visibility it gives to ourselves and to our clients is unprecedented. The ability to monitor, maintain our product and track vehicle movements allows significant environmental and cost benefits for us and HS2.

“We have been able to work closely to BBV and the Verifi team to fully understand Verifi and get the maximum out of the system giving us the opportunity to collaborate with everyone on the project. Having worked in the ready-mixed concrete business for 36 years, Verifi is one of the most significant upgrades to our operational capability I've seen.’’