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A History Of Marconite Conductive Concrete

As stockists of Marconite, we’re able to supply the conductive concrete and pre-mix with short lead times and with no minimum order quantity, to celebrate this, we’ve decided to look at the history of Marconite Conductive Concrete, where it comes from and why it was developed.

Conductive clay such as bentonite has been used for electrical earthing for decades, however as technology and needs have increased, the demand for a more permanent earthing compound arose.

Formulating an earthing material from purposely manufactured synthetic material, that provided lower resistivity, higher strength and lower maintenance than traditional Bentonite clay, was required. The mixtures comes under many guises: conductive concrete, admix and pre-mix, but one of the resounding industry names is Marconite.

For an inside look, we’ve invited Dave Wilson from the James Durrans Group to talk about Marconite’s history and how the Marconi Company developed this effective earthing product.

In the 1960’s the Marconi Company were at the forefront of the worlds’ communication and defence sectors. Designing highly sensitive electronic systems, their engineers increasingly encountered requirements beyond the technology of the time. Marconi realised that to overcome these issues that they would need an entirely new and highly conductive method of electrically earthing installations.

From inception, this new method needed to be permanent, required no maintenance, must be chemically inert, capable of forming strong structures and could be used anywhere, even in difficult ground conditions. In 1973 Marconi’s research, combined with process engineering skills from the James Durrans Group, culminated in the product named Marconite®.

From concept, Marconite® has been solely manufactured from unique raw materials and to a specific process, at their Scunthorpe works. The resulting product is a true semi conducting material that does not need water in order to conduct electricity. When used as an aggregate replacement and mixed with cement it forms a conductive concrete that can be used to encase earthing systems significantly magnifying their effect.

Aside from electrical earthing, resulting from its exceptional electrical properties, Marconite® has been widely used as an antic-static flooring system. If made into solid block, when assembled into buildings they act as a Faraday Cage, protecting the sensitive electronic equipment housed within from EMP radiation. Finally, if used in its dry granular state, it can be placed in trenches or beds to enhance existing ground conditions, a process known as soil enrichment.

Today, over 40 years since its inception, Marconite remains the industry default and standard to which all others are benchmarked. Its’ continued use around the world are testament to the vision of its original development and to the longevity of its abilities.

In the past year within the UK it forms an essential part in the latest high speed broadband networks, is extensively used in the latest power generation plants and provides rail engineers maintenance free earthing solutions. Whilst across the world it has been used in mass transit systems in Malaysia, solar power farms in the Middle East and as an essential component of national defence systems.

Diagram of Marconite installation:

Marconite Concrete Installation

As Marconite stockists and distributors, please contact our Sales Team with your earthing requirements.

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