About 250 construction chemists from Germany and Switzerland met at Hamburg-Harburg Technical University on 06.–07.10.2011 on occasion of the Conference on Building Chemistry of the GDCh (German Chemical Society) to discuss new and sustainable developments regarding building materials. Many lectures dealt with the trends in the development of CO2-reduced cements for sustainable concrete, with the change as regards the raw materials for the construction chemistry industry and with computer-based methods in construction chemistry.
CO2 reduction is also an important aspect in the building materials industry. Therefore, great attention was paid to the reports on the work at the Empa, an interdisciplinary research and service institution for materials sciences and technology development in Switzerland. There they do research, amongst other things, on cements based on calcium sulphoaluminate (CSA). They are used, for example, as binder components, together with Portland cement and calcium sulphate, for quick-setting mortar. There is still a lot of research to do as regards the complex ternary systems and their hydration mechanisms to obtain not only sustainable products but also products of good quality.
For reasons of better environmental compatibility and the need for resource conservation, the focus of the building materials industry is increasingly on additives of renewable raw materials. At Weimar Bauhaus University the effects of small quantities of added derivatized flour on the properties of fresh and solid cement suspensions are investigated.
A further important topic discussed in Hamburg is the use of nano particles in construction chemistry.
The present state of research was made accessible to the interested participants by means of lectures and posters in four fields: sustainable building materials of the future, research and development, investigation and test methods as well as computer-based methods in construction chemistry. The next conference on building chemistry will be held from 11.–12.10.2012 in Dübendorf in Switzerland.