IIT-Madras, Lafarge to launch cement research project

Chennai, March 23 (IANS) The first joint project by French cement major Lafarge Group’s research arm and the Indian Institute of Technology-Madras (IIT-M) is expected to kick start soon, an official said here Wednesday.

Speaking to reporters, Revindra Gettu, professor at IIT-M’s Department of Civil Engineering, said the research project will test the durability of concrete as a building material in different climatic conditions.

The cement major’s research arm, Lafarge Research Centre, and IIT-M last year signed a Memorandum of Understanding, under which the IIT’s civil engineering department set up a laboratory to carry out joint research programmes.

Lafarge Research Centre has funded the laboratory to the tune of Rs.1.5 crore over a period of three years.

According to Gettu, the tests will be conducted on concrete in different parts of India to identify the carbonation and its effects on concrete in different atmospheric conditions.

‘Lafarge aims to improve the performance of concrete to address sustainable construction and global warming challenges. This is done through cutting-edge scientific research and forming partnerships with other institutes and organisations,’ said Pascal Casanova, head of Lafarge Group’s Research and Development.

The French group has four cement plants in India – two in Chhattisgarh, and one grinding plant each in Jharkhand and West Bengal. Lafarge has also set up a gypsum plasterboard plant at Khushkhera in Rajasthan.