Surface Tech is pleased to announce the addition of John McConahy to our team as the Corporate Sales Director for the Concrete Products Division. He brings a vast knowledge and expertise in delivering thought-provoking, innovative, and proven solutions to the construction industry.
After earning a B.S. in Civil Engineering from Pennsylvania State University, John learned the construction industry from the ground up by leading projects for both The Whiting-Turner Contracting Company and Turner Construction Company. This experience laid the foundation for John to deliver performance-based solutions to owners, engineers, contractors, and concrete manufacturers
John continued to build on this foundation while at BASF Admixtures, Inc. (Master Builders) while serving in a variety of roles. He possesses a thorough understanding of the concrete industry, mix design optimization, materials, operations, and customer needs. During his last role as Market Development Manager, he played an integral part in developing and launching many innovative, performance-based concrete product solutions in use today.
Alternative Supplementary Cementitious Material — if this term, or the acronym —ASCM — isn’t clear to you, plan to tune in to our series of three upcoming webinars.
Dr. Jon Belkowitz, Director of Research and Development at Intelligent Concrete, will take you on a one-hour deep dive into ASCMs. You’ll emerge with a good understanding of how this high-tech material holds great promise for making concrete stronger and last longer.
September 24 – 9am PST
Webinar 1: Exploring the creation of ASCMs
Material composition & engineering properties
Impact on concrete
Benefits to the concrete and construction industry
Field test on residential mix paves the way for improved cold weather resistance
Ready-mix providers throughout Colorado face daunting challenges when creating residential concrete placements. Damage caused by freeze-thaw cycles, de-icing salts and excessive use can spell big trouble if the concrete fails to hold up under Colorado’s brutal winters. Homeowners generally hold concrete providers responsible if slabs, driveways, sidewalks and other residential placements don’t last through the first winter without change from shrinkage, cracking or surface deterioration.
JUNO XP’s reputation for increasing toughness and durability convinced one Colorado ready-mix provider to put it to a test. The residential mix specifications, shown in Table 1, required a designed compressive strength of 4,000 psi and 4.5 to 6.5 percent entrained air for freeze-thaw mitigation. It also needed to achieve a slump of four to six inches.
Table 2 details the fresh properties of the mix. Preliminary results show that JUNO XP maintained strength as well as slump and air entrainment properties, even though it reduced the amount of traditional cement in the mix. Moreover, JUNO XP also reduced the ready-mix provider’s cost for the mix, while still meeting specifications for compressive strength of C39 -3, -7, for 28-days. (See Figure 2 for Comparative Strengths.)
“With JUNO XP, we succeeded in setting up a concrete surface that we believe will maintain durability against freeze-thaw and de-icing salt attack,” said Jon Belkowitz, Surface Tech’s chief technical officer for concrete. “JUNO XP also delivered an enhanced concrete finish and improved roadside appeal.” (See Figures 1 and 4 for photo results of shrinkage and moisture loss on the test slabs.)
JUNO XP is an alternative supplementary cementitious material (ASCM) developed by Surface Tech to increase the toughness and durability of concrete, making it stronger and last longer. The Colorado residential test will continue to be monitored over the coming year. Find more information about JUNO XP here.
Table 1 – Concrete Mix Designs Evaluated
3000, EXT, FLT WORK
JUNO XP RPL 22%
JUNO XP RPL 35%
Lb Per C. Yard
HOLCIM Type I-II
Fly Ash F
LGE # 57 / 67
(gal Per C. Yard)
Fl Oz Per C. Yard
Table 2 – Concrete Fresh Properties
4000, EXT, FLT WORK
JUNO XP RPL 22%
JUNO XP RPL 35%
Unit Weight (pcf)
Air Content (%)
Figure 2 – Concrete Compressive Strength
Figure 1 – Plastic Shrinkage and Cracking from Moisture Loss on the REF Concrete Slab
Figure 4 – Concrete slab Enhanced with JUNO XP and without Cracks
The folks at Lehigh Hanson know a thing or two about cement and ready-mix concrete. So when they learned about JUNO XP and its ability to partially replace traditional cement in ready mix, they were curious. Would JUNO XP concrete be as workable as a traditional mix? Would it provide the same finish characteristics?
Justin Hill, Senior Sales Consultant with Lehigh Hanson, decided it was time to test JUNO XP to see if it could meet the challenge.
“We sponsored two separate field trials at our San Diego/Miramar plant,” he said, “one in November 2018 and another in May 2019.”
To maintain objectivity, he hired a third-party contractor that specialized in flatwork. The assignment: Compare and analyze how well the JUNO XP mix could close the surface.
Five mixes were put to the test and the contractor found that, even with a 20 percent reduction in traditional cement, the JUNO XP-enhanced concrete maintained excellent workability and was easy to finish. Additionally, the JUNO XP-enhanced concrete maintained important hardened properties necessary for any concrete construction application.
“Both results were promising, and we are continuing our discovery,” said Hill.
As he found out, JUNO XP is an advanced supplementary cementitious material (ASCM) that not only yields a workable concrete, but also reduces the cost without sacrificing performance.
E-tools from Surface Tech benefit both Contractors and RMX/Logistics suppliers
Take one look at the user-friendly interface, and you’ll be sold on how e-tools from Surface Tech can make future ready-mix ordering and delivery so effortless.
For Contractors, TRKR and TRKR Mobile provide a direct link to RMX/Logistics suppliers, allowing you to shop mix designs and customize the perfect concrete for your specific project. You can then schedule, pay and track the order from truck start to placement completion. Press Done and relax.
When your order completes, you’ll receive a comprehensive report on a daily or project-end basis that you can e-share with clients or subcontractors. Simply put, TRKR and TRKR Mobile take the guesswork out of ordering.
The software also works well if you’re a ready-mix supplier, because you’ll gain an invaluable logistics tool. It allows you to approve orders and schedule dispatches, including the assignment of drivers.
For your drivers, TRKR Mobile is a dream come true. It provides auto-capture of comprehensive weather conditions that may affect pick-up, delivery or completion of the load on a project-by-project basis. Drivers especially appreciate the auto-routing feature, and the Safety Check List at each point of delivery.
They also appreciate the media capture ability, which allows them to grab live or camera roll photos and video, then dictate notes to add to the images. A variety of forms and testing reports can also provide feedback. Best of all, the data captured relays back in real time and is shareable. And like the Contractor, you’ll receive comprehensive progress reports on a daily or project-end basis.
“Contractors and RMX/Logistics now have an online and transparent means to track orders and save all pertinent data to a single project repository that is shareable and will integrate with any software capture system,” said Steve Santa Cruz, Surface Tech president.
Fly ash, slag, silica fume — stand back. You’ve got extreme competition as an alternative supplementary cementitious material (ASCM).
If you’re looking for a product that can partially replace traditional cement in your next project, and you want a finished placement that can go the distance through all types of punishment, look to JUNO XP.
In a recent cracking test, we put JUNO XP to extreme conditions. Imagine 100°F and 32° relative humidity for 48 hours.
“Concrete has to crack under these conditions. It has no choice,” says Jon Belkowitz, PhD, Surface Tech’s Chief Technology Officer for concrete. “But we found JUNO XP dramatically restrained the amount of cracking that occurred.”
In a wide range of applications, JUNO XP is a proven ASCM that can partially substitute traditional cement binders without sacrificing performance. More importantly, JUNO XP can reduce the cost of the mix and it’s easy to adopt. It’s a powder that you easily incorporate into any conventional dispersion system — silo, hopper, supersacks, bags and dissolvable bags. Ease-of-use is one more feature that separates JUNO XP from other new technologies. But the big difference can be seen in performance over time and under a wide range of environmental conditions.
“With JUNO XP, we’re seeing much less or no cracking at all in real-world applications,” said Belkowitz. “In this recent test, we recreated an extremely tough environment, and we saw a dramatic difference between concrete made with JUNO XP and a traditional mix.”
For detailed information on JUNO XP’s Ultimate Cracking Test and other product information, contact us.
Adventus Material Strategies, LLC offers a combination of marketing and technical strategies to the infrastructure industry, drawing on decades of experience and respected industry network. Surface Tech and Adventus have recently formed a business alliance to further the material advancement goals of each company.
As a group, the Adventus team can draw from a deep well of competence for the commercialization of technology in the chemicals, polymers, and road infrastructure segments. The team recognizes the need for new methods and proven technologies to make concrete and asphalt applications stronger and last longer.
The team includes Brian Majeska, principal, with more than 25 years of experience in sales, marketing, technology and innovation in the road chemicals industry. And, Joseph Lorenc, also a principal, with 20 years of knowledge and experience gained in new technologies and expansion of businesses through effective marketing strategies.
“The Adventus team is dedicated to providing new and proven technologies to the asphalt and concrete industries. Their dedication to applying science and technology to achieve breakthrough innovations for our served industries makes them a perfect match for Surface Tech’s core value of providing workable, forward-thinking solutions for infrastructure applications,” said Santa Cruz.
Ultra-High Performance Concrete (UHPC) as defined by the American Concrete Institute (ACI) Concrete Terminology and ACI 239 stipulate calls for meeting a compressive strength between 17,000 psi up to 22,000 psi with specified durability, toughness and tensile requirements provided by the inclusion of fibers. However, because of it’s the materials employed high strength, UHPC can be difficult to create and can become brittle and prone to cracking.
Fortunately, recent UHPC testing and real-world applications by Surface Tech are demonstrating that JUNO XP, the company’s proprietary alternative supplementary cementitious material (ASCM), can provide an “insurance policy” against UHPC brittleness and sub-sequent cracking.
“UHPC has so much cement in it you have to go with a low water mix, and that’s where you run into the possibility of cracking at both early and later stages of the concrete,” said Jon Belkowitz, PhD, Surface Tech’s chief technology officer.
JUNO XP has a mechanical impact on fresh concrete that allows for a reduction of cementitious material, while still maintaining the cream needed to allow grey concrete to flow easily into the formwork. Moreover, JUNO XP has also proven it can increase strength and durability.
“It makes UHPC stronger, tougher and last longer at no additional cost,” said Belkowitz, who added the product is showing spectacular results in current UHPC application testing by one of the nation’s premier concrete precasters.
“JUNO XP is decreasing the binder content by 15 to 25 percent without sacrificing fresh or hardened properties.”
Those who specify and work with UPHC should welcome these results and the fact that JUNO XP is easily adoptable and improves standard, higher performance concrete mixes, in addition to UHPC.
“JUNO XP can be considered a ‘toughening agent’ for UHPC,” said Belkowitz, “meaning it can increase the strain on the concrete before failure, or increase the energy under stress. This positively affects the strain curve as opposed to other supplementary materials, which tends to make the concrete more brittle at high strengths.”
As numerous tests and real-world applications continue to demonstrate that JUNO XP delivers a revolutionary advancement in concrete solutions, it leads Belkowitz to issue his best advice: “Start using Juno XP today! It’s flipping awesome!”
As the Surface Tech team gathered in La Jolla, CA on May 20 -21, presentations and discussions featured a strong emphasis on the development of new platform inclusions to each of the company’s divisions. Company stewards all participated in lengthy sessions devoted to the advancement of current and new product developments as we continue to seek innovative, but secure, solutions for the important industries we serve.
As a leader in innovation for the asphalt and concrete industries, the team first focused on the dry polymer category for asphalt and its aramid product, ACE XP. Continued testing has proven the use of ACE XP will allow for reduced PG grade in mix designs, while still achieving a higher performance (including anti-cracking) for asphalt pavements.
The team examined how the QC disciplines of ACE XP differentiate it from the competition in both its manufacturing method and its ability to be accurately dosed at the plant. The resulting plant cleanliness, combined with Surface Tech’s professional approach to interfacing with plant personnel (including safety), go a long way toward ensuring the customer benefits from the accountable, automated dosing method in terms of producing a pavement that performs for the long haul.
In concrete, the JUNO XP line has been undergoing rigorous C1709 certification since last summer, and testing has proven the product exceeds all expectations in performance characteristics. JUNO XP delivers cost savings, green benefits and an ease of adoption at all plant set ups.
The Alternative Supplementary Cementitious Materials (ASCM) category is a defined ACI discipline and JUNO XP is an early commercial product showing its true worth in that space. Aggregate and fly ash quality and availability are strapping the industry, and new ACSM’s are needed more today than ever before.
In the future, look for even more innovative new products to be added to Surface Tech’s platform, including a fly ash replacement product and a colloidal silica product to enhance current market standards in those categories. Our dedication to testing both in the lab and field continue to be clear evidence to our commitment to provide products that benefit the industry.
Acronyms. They’re everywhere. Each industry has plenty, and even our text language is well populated with LOL, OMG and a long list of others. So you may groan a bit when you see a new one, but ASCM for the concrete industry is one you’ll definitely want to know and remember.
Alternative supplementary cementitious materials (ASCM) are making waves within the industry, and for good reasons. One, they can partially replace traditional cement in a wide range of concrete mixes. This is good news for the environment, because the production of traditional cement requires enormous amounts of energy and releases CO2 into the air.
Two, ASCMs have the capability to deliver important improvements to concrete mixtures. They can increase strength and lifespan, improve workability in placement and require less water, while still delivering the creaminess required for most concrete mixes.
Third, to the delight of many, ASCMs can reduce the cost of concrete. And when you combine the cost savings benefit with added strength that provides improved resistance to abrasion, salts and acidic environments, it’s no wonder attention to ASCMs has grown over the past few years.
ASCMS such as silica and fly ash have been around for a while. But these materials do not address all of the shortcomings of Portland cement in certain applications and environments.
That’s why Surface Tech developed JUNO XP, an advanced mineral admixture that can partially substitute traditional cement. It can be used in standard concretes and in specialty applications without sacrificing performance.
The core technology found in Surface Tech’s JUNO XP is a revolutionary building material using cutting-edge advancements in mineralogy and nanotechnology combined with a graduated fiber matrix to reduce material cost.
Best of all, adding JUNO XP to your mix is easy. You can add it at any point in the production process—at the plant, on the job site, or wherever it fits your need.
So now that you know about ACSM, all you really need to remember is JUNO XP. For more information on how JUNO XP can lower cost and improve performance in projects like soil stabilization, controlled density fill (CDF) and rip-rap, visit https://surface-tech.com/portfolio/juno/. To find out how you can achieve savings of up to 30 percent on your next project, contact us.