When we started the El Dorado Chemical Company plant in early 2010, we started doing some research on different additives to put in the concrete, to help with its chemical resistance. Early in our research, we came across an additive called MetaMax.

MetaMax is a High Reactivity Metakaolin. Dr. Sharad Mathur wrote the article, “Understanding the Benefits of High Reactivity Metakaolin,” that really helped me understand what and why it’s so good to use in concrete when chemical resistance is important.

To put it in my own words, during the chemical reaction of the cement, a byproduct called Calcium Hydroxide is created. Calcium Hydroxide is the white stuff that you see “leaching” out of the concrete on some structures. MetaMax mixes with the Calcium Hydraoxide to create a concrete that has significantly less porosity than standard concrete. This low porosity is what helps resist chemical attack on the concrete.

MetaMax is often compared to Silica Fume. My crews have experience with both materials, and they really liked working with the MetaMax over Silca Fume. The Silica Fume sets up very fast, which makes it hard to work with in some situations, compared to the MetaMax that actually made the concrete feel a little “creamier” and very easy to work with. The crews also mentioned that when the concrete had setup, it was vastly harder.

MetaMax concrete coupled with the Monolithic Dome makes the world’s finest chemical storage facility.

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