ACI Foundation’s Strategic Development Council to Host Virtual Technology Forum


The ACI Foundation’s Strategic Development Council (SDC) will host its next virtual Technology Forum on August 24-26, 2021. This 50th forum will include technology showcases that highlight new materials, industry research needs and examine collaborative research models that have the potential to advance the industry. Topics include:

Technology Showcases:

  • The World’s First Concrete Bridges Made with Glass Powder
  • Eliminating Pour Strips with the PS=Ø® Mechanical Rebar Splicing System
  • Automated Quality Control of Poured & Placed Concrete


A Reliable Measurement & Speciation of Sulfur in Concrete – Over the past decade, significant localized outbreaks of concrete degradation caused by oxidation of the iron sulfide mineral pyrrhotite in concrete aggregates have occurred in Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Quebec, Canada, affecting thousands of residential structures. A standardized method for sulfur content in concrete aggregates will aid in the evaluation of future concrete degradation through oxidation of pyrrhotite and other iron sulfide minerals. There are considerable analytical challenges to determining sulfur concentrations of interest and distribution in aggregate sources.  A case study is made for the industry to establish precision and bias data for the most promising test methods.

A Collaborative Research Model – The mission of the Research Center on Concrete Infrastructure (CRIB) is to innovate scientifically and technologically for the purpose of developing high-performing, durable and multipurpose concrete infrastructure with minimal ecological and energy footprints while aiming to achieve a maximum performance/investment ratio. The multidisciplinary team focuses on ideas and projects with a strong commitment to cutting-edge research, training, and technology transfer. Learn how to create an environment that supports collaboration between experts in materials science, structural engineering, and economic analysis for the good of the construction industry.

Case Study: Deconstruction of the Champlain Bridge – Inaugurated in 1962, the Champlain Bridge in Montreal, Canada, carried six lanes of traffic over the St. Lawrence Seaway while the structure rested on massive piers of reinforced concrete. The bridge suffered such premature degradation that despite repeated reinforcements and repairs, it was decommissioned in June 2019 in response to safety concerns. The Jacques Cartier and Champlain Bridges Incorporated (JCCBI), responsible for the deconstruction process, will be following a sustainable approach to managing the complex engineering project that will likely generate 287,000 tons of used aggregate and other materials.

More information about SDC Technology Forum 50 including registration, updates to the agenda, schedule and past agendas is available at

SDC collaborates across the concrete industry to address technical challenges within the industry and creates a forum for the introduction and nurturing of new technologies. SDC hosts technology forums twice a year, which are 2.5-day technical conferences that highlight innovative technologies and research the SDC perceives as having positive productivity or economic impacts on the industry.


Concrete Association, Contractor Members Unite to Switch from Hard Hats to Helmets



The nation’s nonprofit association for cast-in-place concrete contractors is asking its members to set goals to accomplish a safety-specific transition from hard hats to helmets to prevent traumatic brain injuries and deaths on the jobsite.

Bev Garnant, executive director of the American Society of Concrete Contractors, says momentum is gaining across the U.S. to replace traditional hard hats with helmets equipped with chin straps and extruded foam to protect construction workers more effectively from falls. Helmets for construction workers is one of the ASCC’s core initiatives.

“The ASCC has established an overall goal to realize the transition of 75 percent of our member companies’ jobsite workers from hard hats to helmets by 2023,” Garnant said. “This is an ambitious goal, but we feel it’s doable. Several major general contractors are already making the switch.”

St. Louis-based Concrete Strategies – a Clayco subsidiary – is preparing to embark on a pilot effort at one jobsite, outfitting the field crew with helmets. Concrete Strategies Safety Director Joe Rock says construction helmets are considerably more expensive than hard hats, but with safety paramount, it’s where the industry needs to head.

“In any type of fall event, the traditional hard hat comes off a worker’s head,” Rock said. “The most progressive, forward-thinking construction industry partners are headed in the direction of helmets over hard hats. Our company is always going to be pushing the envelope in seeking out, testing and trying any resources and practices that ensure our workers return home safely to their families every day.”

Perception in the field that a helmet is less comfortable and heat resistant than a hard hat, Rock adds, is one that must be overcome to gain buy-in on the hats-to-helmets transition from those in the field. Concrete Strategies performed research on helmets and ordered a half dozen for field workers to try. From that input, two finalist helmet models were ordered. The project for which field crew are sporting the new head gear begins this spring. Rock and Garnant say the construction helmets closely resemble a bicycle helmet.

“OSHA regulations still specify hard hats as approved head gear,” Garnant said, “but we truly think that over the next two to three years that will change to helmets. Hard hats are built to protect workers when protect materials striking their heads, but hard hats are not equipped to protect workers who fall. Helmets reduce the incidence of traumatic brain injuries and deaths. When we think of productivity on a jobsite, we may not necessarily think of safety. But safety has a huge impact on productivity.”