With its factory located in Estoire, Bloemfontein, 3 Sixty Precast Concrete manufacture curbstones, culverts, concrete pipes and manholes. As a result of rising production and manufacturing costs throughout South Africa, the company recognised that it was their responsibility to investigate ways of reducing expenses without compromising on quality, thereby continuing their first-rate reputation.

In January 2012, 3 Sixty Precast Concrete contacted Sika to conduct testing of suitable products that could provide a solution to their rising overheads. Trials were performed using two admixtures, namely Sika ViscoCrete-20 HE and SikaPaver HC-2. As could be expected, both high-performance, cost-effective Sika products produced excellent test results: lower admixture dosages were required thereby decreasing the cost per cubic metre, and although less cement and or steel was necessary, the required product strengths were still achieved.

Once testing was complete and 3 Sixty Precast Concrete gave Sika the go ahead, three dosing units were installed at their Bloemfontein plant. The dosing pump is a unit that pumps controlled amounts of the admixture into the mix (cement, sand and stone) at regular intervals from the tanks where the admixture is stored. The advantage of using a dosing unit is that the mixing operator can dose the exact amount of admixture set for a specific mix thereby reducing the risk of under or overdosing.

Sika ViscoCrete-20 HE, which is especially suitable for concrete requiring high early strength development, powerful water reduction, and excellent flow characteristics, will be added to the wet mixes, which are used to manufacture the culverts and kerb stones. SikaPaver HC-2, with its innovative admixture technology which provides consistent product quality, smoother and more uniform surfaces, and improved durability and life expectancy, will be added to the dry concrete mixes, which are used for the concrete pipes and manhole rings.

The manufacturing stages include mixing of the wet and dry concrete. After the concrete has been mixed it is cast into the various moulds and then allowed to cure. After curing it is stored at the yard from where it is despatched.

3 Sixty Precast Concrete is currently supplying leading construction companies with their high quality manufactured culverts and concrete pipes. These products are being used in the construction of two bridges on the N8, the main road between Bloemfontein and Maseru in Lesotho, an intersection at Thaba Nchu and on the road between Tweespruit and Ladybrand.

Having enabled their new customer to substantially lower production costs and thereby supply competitively priced, more durable, high quality products to a large number of ongoing projects, Sika will be playing an important role in the upgrading of South Africa’s road systems.