Research & Innovation
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Stakes & Strategy

With a world population set to exceed 9 billion people by 2050, the construction industry faces a major challenge: how to meet the housing and infrastructure needs of the world's population, while ensuring that construction is ever more efficient and sustainable. For Lafarge, innovation and research are major levers for inventing materials and construction solutions able to respond to these challenges. The Group devotes 2/3 of its research budget to sustainable construction and focuses on key areas.

Building for everyone

Today, over 4 billion people on Earth do not have access to decent housing. Lafarge R&D is working on the development of newaffordable housing solutions for everyone, which are adapted to the needs of the markets where the Group operates.

 

To meet this demand of housing and infrastructure, building quicklyhas become a necessity. But builders and contractors often face a shortage of skilled labor to achieve it. Therefore, Lafarge research teams have developed new products and solutions improving jobsite efficiency, which are fast, simple and safe to implement.

Developing high added value cements

Lafarge follows 3 industrial imperatives:
Improving the consistency and qualities of cement (setting time and strength);
Increasing the use of cement additives (slag, fly ash, pozzolan);
Reducing CO2, particularly during industrial processes.

CO2 and cement

Why does cement production emit CO2? 
Cement production naturally results in CO2 emissions: 
• 60% of emissions are due to the physical-chemical transformation of raw materials at high temperatures (decarbonation of limestone),
• 40% are caused during the heating of the cement furnace to 1,500°C.

Improving the energy efficiency of buildings

For Lafarge, improving energy efficiency is a twofold issue:
reducing the energy consumed during the manufacturing of its products;
• developing products and solutions which can improve the energy efficiency of buildings over their entire lifecycle.    

Develop the concretes of the future

Concrete with optimized qualities: robust, aesthetic, made-to-measure products which resist fissuring and save energy through enhanced thermal inertia.
Concrete suited to all applications (slab, wall, etc.).    

Preserving the environment and promoting well-being

Lafarge is focusing a significant amount of its R&D efforts on increasing the environmental benefits of its production processes and of the solutions developed for the construction sector:

 

  • reducing carbon footprint during cement manufacturing;
  • optimizing the use of natural resources;
  • reducing water consumption;
  • etc.

Optimizing the aggregates resources

As aggregates are a rare natural resource, the R&D teams work to improve industrial performance. The 2 research orientations are:
• The improvement of industrial processes, 
• The optimization of quarry materials through expertise in aggregate grading. The goal is to use all extracted aggregates, without distinction and without waste.

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Innovation in Lafarge

Since the start of the 20th century, Lafarge has been a leader in innovation. Almost a century later, innovation still lies at the heart of the Group's local and global ambitions. Discover some of Lafarge's key global milestones.    

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LafargeHolcim. Cement, aggregates, Concrete.