SikaRapid® 22AU –an example of an innovative approach, increased efficiency and excellent team effort

Sika Australia shows a great example of shifting quickly towards cost-efficient alternatives and working with the customer to deliver beyond the expected.
Image: Sika Australia shows a great example of shifting quickly towards cost-efficient alternatives and working with customers to deliver beyond the expected.

Mitigating raw material shortage risks

Using concrete admixtures opens a wide range of possibilities to produce concrete with unique properties. Some admixtures are organic, others inorganic, and many more have been investigated. Let’s start with a short introduction to the usage of calcium nitrate in mortars and concrete. Initially used as a chloride-free set accelerator, it became popular as cold weather concrete admixture – a so called “Anti-freeze.” Calcium Nitrate has been used for over 20 years, and it turns out that this additive is a multi-trick-pony as it can act as a set accelerator, plasticizer, and long-term strength enhancer.  

So why change the winning team?  

Having restrictions, thus raising raw material prizes, was calling for action. So, the Australian R&D team started tackling this challenge. First, the local R&D Team started to look at different raw materials that could be used as possible alternatives. Thanks to the effortless support of Corporate & Regional R&D, such as the combined efforts from the Target Market, Technical Services, and Operation & Procurement team, Sika Rapid® 22 AU development started in May 2022. The project aimed to reduce calcium nitrate in the product without compromising its performance. Therefore: SikaRapid® 22 AU was developed using combinations of available accelerators.

Sika Rapid® 22 AU a great success   

With the introduction of Sika Rapid 22 AU, Sika Australia reduced calcium nitrate usage by half, producing double the volume of accelerators that can be supplied to customers. In addition, a significant saving on raw material costs was generated while maintaining the performance and improving the material margin. Also, it was essential to work transparently with the customer and to reinsure that there would be no disadvantage to the change of products. This effort resulted in unconditional customer satisfaction and reports that the change from SikaRapid® AF to SikaRapid® 22 AU was seamless. The consumers were also impressed by Sika's speed in developing and delivering new products in such a short period. Sika Australia continued the supply of accelerators to customers during the current supply crisis.