Site visit to Contern SA and Manu Concassage - Luxembourg
by Schuttelaar & Partners
On April 17, 2018, representatives from several SeRaMCo Partners – University of Kaiserslautern, Schuttelaar & Partners, University of Liège, University of Luxembourg, University of Lorraine, Prefer, Tradecowall – visited Contern SA, the biggest CPP Producer in Luxembourg. Contern produces concrete mainly directed to Luxembourg, Belgium, France and Germany.
Contern recycles a small part of its own concrete precast products, and it produces excellent recycled aggregates, with fine particles being up to only 5% of the total material. The main CPP produced with such aggregates are blocks. Visually, it is impossible to distinguish blocks produced with secondary raw materials from those produced with primary raw materials (see figure 1).
Figure 1 Concrete blocks at Contern SA. It is impossible to visually distinguish which ones are made from 100% secondary raw materials
The products from which recycled aggregates mainly derive from are pipes. Pipes are the most crushed CPPs because they must comply with high safety requirements (they undergo several safety tests before being sold) so they cannot be defective in any way. All the pipes that cannot be put into the market are crushed and used as recycled aggregates, so the product never leaves the site, hence it cannot be contaminated or damaged by external uses or conditions. Moreover, Contern does not accept any external construction and demolition material, so all the recycled aggregates are produced in-house from previous concrete products produced in-house, whose quality can be certified.
Figure 2 The group in front of a crushed concrete pile at Contern SA
Currently Contern subcontracts crushing operations of its concrete waste to a producer of recycled sands and aggregates, such as Manu Concassage, one of the biggest recycling centres in Luxembourg and the second destination of the site visit.
Manu Concassage only recycles concrete, reinforced concrete, bricks, tiles, ceramics and natural stone. Therefore, accurate selection - with visual inspection - is made at the entrance of the plant, and non-acceptable materials are rejected. The recycled materials are mainly used for road infrastructures.