Cement additive manufacturing company CHRYSO Southern Africa has installed a solar electricity generating system at its Jet Park premises in Gauteng, as part of its efforts to lower its carbon footprint.

According to CHRYSO Southern Africa CEO Norman Seymore, the system will generate almost 240 MWh each year to serve the company’s production facility.

“This output will make up about 70% of our energy requirements, with the rest sourced from the national grid,” says Seymore. “One of our three sustainability pillars at CHRYSO is the reduction of energy consumption, and this installation goes a long way in reducing our dependence on South Africa’s notoriously carbon-producing electricity.”

A total of 393 solar panels – each with a capacity of 400 W – were installed on the roof of CHRYSO Southern Africa’s premises in January this year. They will collectively generate a kilowatt peak of 157 kWp through five 27.6 kW inverters. 

“Our investment in solar energy generation is an important contribution to the company’s global commitment to a more sustainable construction sector,” Seymore says. “Our CHRYSO admixture products themselves play a valuable role in driving down the carbon emissions related to construction materials.”

He highlights that these admixtures can help to reduce the cement component of concrete – cement being among the world’s most significant carbon-generating products. CHRYSO Southern Africa is also active in other environmental initiatives, such as ensuring that its packaging materials and containers are recyclable and reusable. The company delivers much of its product range in bulk, but uses recyclable material where products are delivered in 200-litre drums or 1,000-litre containers.

“We have, in addition to our solar installation, also implemented a series of wastewater treatment systems at our plant to reduce and recycle the volumes of wastewater we produce,” he says. “We constructed several wastewater catchment areas to ensure that any discharged wastewater was first treated to an acceptable standard.”


An innovation in concrete pavement construction was recently launched in Johannesburg, pointing the way to the future of external hardstands, according to Hannes Engelbrecht, Concrete Unit Business Director at CHRYSO Southern Africa.

The pioneering solution – Optipave VRS – is a collaboration between leading players in the field. It combines the volumetric retraction stability (VRS) additive Link EVR from RCR Industrial Flooring, thin concrete paving (TCP) short-slab design technology and fibre-reinforced concrete.

“CHRYSO® EasyFinish is a macro monofilament fibre that is engineered to replace steel mesh or steel fibres in concrete,” says Engelbrecht. “It is specially designed for concrete reinforcement and is shaped to create a smooth concrete surface finish, improving durability and mechanical properties.”

Link EVR reduces shrinkage and curling in concrete slabs, and also prevents superficial micro cracks known as crazing. It makes concrete less porous, improving its freeze-thaw behaviour as well as its resistance to liquid spillage and abrasion. 

The Monofloor TCP design ensures that only one set of wheels can load each slab at any one time, reducing the flexural stress and changing the failure mode. The result of this is that a thinner slab can be cast for the same loading. 

“Together, these technologies solve recurring problems in conventional external concrete pavements and hardstands,” he says. “Optipave VRS, a technology from the RCR Industrial Flooring Group) reduces tensile stress in the slab, eliminates the negative effects of curling and pumping, reduces slab thickness, and allows minimal joint opening and maintenance.”

The Optipave system is also environmentally friendly as it has a low carbon footprint, absorbing just 500 g/m2 of carbon dioxide. It is recommended for a wide range of applications including highways, industrial pavements, low-traffic roads and parking lots.

“We believe that the Optipave system has a bright future due to its competitive construction costs and ease of installation,” says Engelbrecht. “The optimised load distribution system and latest technologies in concrete also give Optipave a longer lifespan. This further enhances its cost effectiveness.”

The launch, which took the form of a practical demonstration where sample panels were cast, raised the interest of contractors, property developers and consulting engineers alike. 


A range of CHRYSO products contributed to the success of a bridge project near the historic city of Paarl in South Africa, involving the largest precast beams cast to date in the Western Cape.

Weighing 64 t each, the 18 prestressed beams for the Val de Vie Berg River bridge project measured over 35 m long and two metres high. The large volume and tight spacing of the reinforcing steel, coupled with the presence of stressing cables, meant conventional concrete would not suffice and  the local CHRYSO Southern Africa team worked in conjunction with the precast contractor to design, test and submit a self-compacting concrete mix .

CHRYSO’s CHRYSO® Premia 310 superplasticiser and CHRYSO® Dem Bio 10 environmentally-friendly release agent formed part of the solution for the successful casting of these beams, and were also used in the project’s large facing panels, coping and culverts.

Once all the beam strands were evenly stressed, readymix concrete was placed and a combination of external and poker vibration was used for compaction. This provided a good surface finish with minimal blow holes. After pouring, a tarpaulin was placed over the mould and steam was injected under the cover to accelerate hydration. Using this method, a strength of 40 MPa was achieved in 20 hours, enabling the production of one beam a day. The final strength required was 60 MPa, and this was achieved within 28 days.

Before the casting process, CHRYSO® Retarder paste was applied at the end of each beam shutter and the concrete washed off with water the following day after the shutter was removed. This created a rough exposed aggregate finish that provided a good bonding surface for the assembly of the bridge. 

The facing panels were also steam-cured, and were cast with a glass-smooth finish. They were attached using ‘fingers’, eliminating the use of visual fixing on the front face. Some panels were curved, such as those used for cladding the central viewing cove.

Once all precast beams were in position, five diaphragm transverse beams were cast in-situ between the precast beams. Permanent deck shutters measuring 1,2 m by 300 mm by 50 mm closed the remaining gaps between the precast beams, resting on recesses cast into the beams for that purpose. Readymix concrete using CHRYSO’s water-reducing plasticiser CHRYSO® Plast Omega 126 was then poured onto the shutters to create the deck. 


Preventing efflorescence on concrete is often a concern for contractors, but CHRYSO has a simple solution – CHRYSO® Alpha Color 600.

In fact, CHRYSO® Alpha Color 600 does more than reduce the appearance of efflorescence. It is a double-function admixture which simultaneously gives a durable water repellent property to concrete. Giving a beading effect to concrete, the admixture enables mortars and concrete to resist water penetration, by capillarity or by pressure.

It also improves the aesthetic characteristics of manufactured concrete products, considerably reducing the appearance of spots and rings due to efflorescence. This gives a homogeneous colour to the result, whether it is precast aesthetic concrete, light precast concrete or coloured concrete.

This high-performance efflorescence reducer is available in a range of packaging, including 25 litre jerry cans, 200 litre drums, 1,000 litre flow bins or bulk tanker loads. With a long shelf life of 12 months, it can be homogenised simply by some light agitation after extended periods of storage. It can even endure freezing, requiring only agitation after thawing to recover its properties. 

From a health and safety point of view, CHRYSO® Alpha Color 600 need not raise any concerns for contractors and their employees as it is classified as harmless.


Hot and windy conditions can lead to plastic shrinkage cracking on fresh concrete, but CHRYSO® ProFilm 19 can solve this problem, without the addition of extra water to the concrete mix. 

One of the dangers of working in low humidity conditions – even inside heated buildings during cold weather – is the rapid evaporation of surface moisture from the concrete. This can cause map cracking and plastic shrinkage, where cracks can penetrate to the full depth of a concrete slab.

According to the American Concrete Institute (ACI), plastic shrinkage cracking of concrete is likely to occur whenever the evaporation rate is more than 1 kg per square metre per hour. The ACI highlights that this rate of evaporation can be readily caused by many combinations of air temperature, relative humidity, concrete temperature and wind velocity. 

As an evaporation reducer, CHRYSO® ProFilm 19 prevents this cracking by protecting fresh concrete from the effects of excessive moisture loss in rapid drying conditions. Furthermore, it can achieve this result without increasing the bleed. By spraying this evaporation-reducing product onto fresh concrete surfaces, the user creates a continuous mono-molecular film over the concrete, which inhibits the rapid loss of bleed water. 

This film lasts as long as the concrete remains plastic, even where floating and trowelling operations must be conducted to create the required surface finish. CHRYSO® ProFilm 19 is a water based product which is compliant with guidelines on volatile organic compounds (VOCs).

The effectiveness of the mono-molecular film means that there is no need for water spraying on the surface of the concrete in order to slow the evaporation process. It can be used on a range of horizontal concrete pours where the evaporation rate may exceed the bleeding rate of concrete. These applications include industrial floors, roads, bridge decks, slabs, patios, driveways and sidewalks.

CHRYSO® ProFilm 19 is ideal in concrete applications that produce little or no bleed water, such as mixes with low water content.


In wind farms all over South Africa’s Eastern Cape and Western Cape provinces, CHRYSO Southern Africa is adding value to the precast concrete segments used to construct the 100 metre tall wind turbine towers.

The average concrete turbine tower comprises 18 precast segments, each with a height of between 18 to 20 metres and a diameter of between 600 mm and two metres. In the manufacture of these precast elements, the production speed and segment uniformity are essential. This demands high early strengths to ensure fast erection, while giving the towers an ability to withstand demanding fatigue loads. Wind turbines must also be able to perform in some of the country’s harshest working environments, making durability a key requirement for the concrete mixes used in precast units.

The CHRYSO® Fluid Premia range of plasticizers facilitates workability retention of between 30 and 45 minutes while achieving high early strengths. These early strengths allow for the fast erection of the towers owing to the quick turnaround time as the mould release and pre-stressing release can be done earlier. optimises early and late age strength development in concrete mixes.

The CHRYSO® Fluid Premia range maintains consistency in the manufacturing of reinforced concrete components, reducing the sensitivity of concrete to variations in water content.

Plastic shrinkage cracking and plastic settlement cracking can occasionally penetrate deep into a precast unit, causing significant cost in remedial measures and even replacement. Applying a curing compound from the CHRYSO® Cure Range to the precast segments reduces the incidence of shrinkage cracks and promotes better strength gain characteristics. Curing compounds also increase the impermeability of concrete, making it more durable.

Another important product gaining traction in this market is a.b.e.® duragrout. Developed especially for wind farm precast applications, this product which is proving popular is being used to level segment holders. The duragrout WF product is used for grouting and bedding of structural elements; it can be pumpable or gravity fed and has good cohesive properties without bleed or segregation. It is pre-blended and ready-to-use, requiring only clean water to be added.

In a related development, CHRYSO has partnered with Maturix to develop an innovative sensor solution with a digital cloud platform to monitor the maturity of concrete. It has been used worldwide on more than 350 in-situ and precast projects, and is being trialled on a wind farm project in South Africa. This cloud-based solution helps the construction industry to monitor concrete curing and hardening through hydration temperature measurements.


CHRYSO Southern Africa offers outstanding solutions when it comes to fibre reinforced concrete. A mutually beneficial partnership with Oxyfibre has resulted in world class products being available locally, supported by expert fibre technology development and consultancy capabilities. 

Izak Louw, general manager at Oxyfibre, says that CHRYSO’s presence and established infrastructure in Southern Africa made them the partner of choice for making Adfil fibres available in Southern Africa.

CHRYSO® EasyFinish, as a macro fibre, optimises speed of construction by eliminating the need for costly placement of rebar and ensuring adequate cover to reinforcement. Added benefits include smooth surface finishes, maximum bond, greater tensile strength per fibre for enhanced residual flexural strength and toughness in the concrete. 

For micro fibre applications, CHRYSO® Fibrin XTserves as alternative to crack control mesh. The use of micro fibres in concrete product manufacturing has proved to enhance the surface properties and durability, significantly reducing the occurrence of plastic shrinkage and plastic settlement cracking.

Recent projects where these fibres have been used include the placing of 7000 m2 of concrete in very thick surface beds and several large warehouse floors. Other applications have been in coastal defence structures and shotcrete in the Western Cape, as well as for the construction of floors in the farming and food processing industries where harsh chemicals and other deleterious substances could potentially affect the concrete. All these projects reported noticeable cost and time savings. 

Louw says that ongoing research has resulted in new fibre solutions that will be available shortly. These include Ignis, a micro fibre specifically designed for its fire protection benefits, and a macro fibre that will address problem areas in the precast industry.

Fibre technology is used extensively in readymix concrete, but the ease of transport, storage and handling of these fibres also makes them ideal for smaller projects and on-site mixing.

The CHRYSO Southern Africa / Oxyfibre partnership has created a win-win solution for all stakeholders providing concrete reinforcement solutions for construction projects to be undertaken safely and rapidly with reduced waste and reduced impact on the environment.


Concrete is the ultimate, timeless solution for floors. The success of a durable and functional floor lies in the ability to produce a quality finish, typically characterised by a smooth and consistent surface, whether in an industrial or decorative setting.

With CHRYSO® FiniSafe, finishing concrete floors by troweling or floating has never been easier.

Spraying CHRYSO® FiniSafe on the surface just before the finishing operation commences, improves the finishability of the concrete surface. This makes it possible for the operator to finish the surface faster and with less effort, whether floating mechanically or manually. As this concrete aid allows the mechanical trowel to pass over the surface more efficiently, machine performance is optimised by reducing wear and tear on the blades.

The product is safe for application on all types of concrete surfaces that require troweling, including standard concrete and industrial flooring and precast products. It may be used safely on both indoor and outdoor concrete as it has no odour and contains no VOCs.

CHRYSO® FiniSafe does not affect the colour or the appearance of the concrete and may be used with confidence on all decorative concrete surfaces.

When using this product, no water is added during floating or troweling, minimising the potential for unsightly efflorescence appearing on concrete elements or weakened surfaces which will tend to dust, when put into use. Other surface treatments may be applied to the floated surface, without any additional preparation.

With the use of CHRYSO® FiniSafe, a smoother finish is achieved with better surface densification; exactly what is expected by clients and designers, when specifying a concrete floor.

CHRYSO Southern Africa’s sales and technical teams are on hand to discuss how CHRYSO® FiniSafe can save both time and money while achieving good quality surface finishes.


Good housekeeping on a construction site is not negotiable. When working with cement and readymix concrete it becomes even more critical that surrounding areas are free from spills and build-up, as well as keeping equipment and tools clean, to optimise functionality.  

CHRYSO® Green Decap 200 is a new generation concrete stripper, which allows for the easy cleaning of all equipment and surfaces, where both  hardened cementitious and readymix concrete residues need to be effectively removed. It is less aggressive in terms of its impact on both health and safety as well as the environment, when compared to traditionally used acids such as hydrochloric and nitric.

This synthetic concrete stripper dissolves nearly 15% more hardened cementitious based paste, than extremely aggressive substances such a nitric and hydrochloric acid. The special formulation may be used, where cement and concrete spills and stains need to be removed, without damaging surfaces such as paintwork, chrome, coated steel, plastic, aluminum, glass or insulated wiring.

The stripper can be applied with a brush or a spray and is typically left for 10 minutes to react before washing the surface or equipment with clean water. The operation may need to be repeated several times, to remove stubborn residues or stains. 

CHRYSO® Green Decap 200’s may also successfully be used to remove laitance and as a final cleaning of exposed aggregate surfaces.

This versatile product is an additional offering in CHRYSO Southern Africa’s comprehensive range of products designed to optimise the placing, performance and aesthetics of concrete.

CHRYSO Southern Africa’s sales and technical teams are on hand, to discuss how CHRYSO® Green Decap 200 can ensure that unsightly cementitious-based spills and stains, do not affect a concrete project, while also ensuring that tools and equipment remain clean and functional.


CHRYSO’s significant contribution to the successful execution of the award-winning Battery Park project highlights its commitment to provide a comprehensive range of products which optimise the placing, performance and aesthetics of concrete.

Battery Park, a 12 000 m2 urban precinct at the entrance to the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town, comprises a park and piazza and well as a concealed multi-level parking facility and pedestrian routes. A winner of the CSSA 2019 Fulton Award in the category “Buildings greater than 3-storeys”, this project is a testimony to excellence in the use of concrete.

The use of different concrete elements displays the versatility of concrete. In many of these elements, CHRYSO products were used resulting in exceptionally detailed and finished concrete structures and elements.

CHRYSO® Plast Omega 122 W, a water reducing plasticiser, was incorporated in the concrete mix to optimise the workability characteristics. After placing the concrete, CHRYSO® Cure Acrylic, a water-based slightly viscous solution, was used as a curing compound to ensure colourless, stain-free surfaces.

A selection of formwork release agents from CHRYOS’s range was applied according to their special attributes. CHRYSO® Dem Oleo FW, a hydrocarbon-based, recycled delayed-release agent was used for the conventional concrete works, while CHRYSO® Dem Oleo SM, a mineral-based delayed-release agent was applied to the metallic and wooden formwork used during the wet precast processes.

For the construction and expansion joints, two products from a.b.e Construction Chemicals, part of the CHRYSO group, were used. Dowsil® 890 SL, a self-levelling silicone sealant, was used to seal irregular planes between concrete paving and asphalt surfaces, with the added benefit of providing fuel resistant seals. Doswil® 888, a non-sag silicone joint sealant, was applied to standard concrete pavement joints.

CHRYSO is proud to be associated with the Battery Park project in so many different applications. This is a true accolade not only for the quality of their products, but also for the CHRYSO sales and technical teams.