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InfraBuild slag a winner for the Australian Formula 1® Grand Prix

22 March 2024

If you are tuning into this year’s Australian Formula 1® Grand Prix, you can do so knowing the big race will have a distinct InfraBuild connection. 

Electric arc furnace (EAF) slag produced during our steelmaking processes has been used as part of an extensive renovation of Melbourne’s Albert Park racing surface through our partnership with Harsco Environmental. 

Slag is produced when molten steel is separated from molten silicates and oxides, which forms a type of artificial rock when cooled. 

Solidified slag, which looks and feels like rock, can then be crushed and screened to various sizes for a range of uses, including in asphalt. 

In 2022, we supplied slag to Harsco Environmental – a global market leader providing environmental solutions for industrial and specialty by-products – which it then used to support two Australian racetrack resurfacing projects. 

Harsco used slag we supplied from InfraBuild’s EAF to test a range of mixes before settling on a 10mm and 14mm aggregate which was subsequently used to resurface the Albert Park track. 

The aggregate was deemed to improve grip and abrasion on the circuit’s surface, which resulted in more competitive racing conditions. 

Following the success of the Melbourne project, the EAF aggregate was also used to resurface the Adelaide Street Circuit, which hosted the 2022 VALO Adelaide 500 supercars race. 

Michael Gardner, Associate Director at engineering, advisory and project delivery company iEDM, that embarked on the Albert Park renovation with Australian Grand Prix Corporation and Formula 1®, praised the solution. 

“We were very happy with the steel slag durability, affinity for bitumen and outstanding shape,” Mr Gardner said. 

“Both micro and macro texture were important metrics for the mix design, and we felt that inclusion of the steel slag assisted in both of those categories. Increased grip, abrasion and tyre degradation were all features within the return to racing at Albert Park in 2022.” 

Paul Thomas, InfraBuild Head of Environment, was also a strong supporter of this outcome. 

“The use of InfraBuild slag in such a technically demanding and high-profile application clearly shows the potential value of this by-product” he said. 

“I expect that this project will further demonstrate the role of slag as a viable alternative to quarried aggregate in road-making projects.” 

Originally published January 31st, 2023

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