Myths about heavy ballast - we demystify them! | LKAB Minerals
MagnaDense high density magnetite product

As high density ballast is not a commonly used solution, not everyone is experienced with this way of working. And we all know that the unknown might seem intimidating. However, we believe that with the right support, you will embrace this solution. In this article, we discuss the myths or challenges that surround dense ballast.

Myth 1: You need special equipment

Not true. Because this is an unknown, contractors may decide to use old equipment in case of breakdown or wear and tear, therefore producing a satisfactory result. As mentioned in this article, modern, well-maintained equipment is required to place high density concrete and ballast. Allowances, of course, need to be made for the additional weight not to exceed weight tolerances.

Myth 2: Specialist expertise is required

Well, partly true but not a problem. There are many well-known recipes for different types of constructions and our commercial teams as well as experienced suppliers can assist with advice and mix designs.

We advise you to watch some of our webinars on high density concrete that provide you with more in-depth insight into the different applications and solutions.

Myth 3: It limits production capacity

Partly true. If you have few material pockets for ballast, the change between different concrete mixtures becomes more difficult. Continuous production is preferable, or production at a facility capable of offering a higher degree of flexibility. Due to the lower volume per batch, the total amount will determine the price. The higher the volume, the closer the final price will be to the average price for standard concrete.

In some cases, constraints at the nearest concrete station may cause you to choose one at a further distance, with a better price for the project. For some projects, a mobile concrete plant may be the best solution.

Myth 4: Complications with handling and pumping

Not true. With a proven recipe and a proper trial, this is not a problem. The current record for pumping heavy concrete is 980 metres, and the pumping company believes that this could have pumped much further.  When delivering from a truck, the concrete may appear more viscous at first glance, but when you handle it, this flows just as well as ordinary concrete. High density concrete can be produced to be self-compacting and flowable with the right mix design.

Myth 5: Moulds need to be reinforced

True. Naturally, the moulds must be designed for higher pressure when they are filled with fresh concrete.

Myth 6: MagnaDense in concrete rusts and leaches out

Not true. Third-party tests show no changes to the material in marine and aquatic environments. This is supported by the Deltares report, conducted on material recycled after 25 years offshore. Iron ore is an iron oxide that, in a way, has already oxidised.

Should you have more questions about the use of MagnaDense products in a high density concrete mix, please connect with our technical sales manager. They will help you explain the opportunities and restrictions. We also offer the option to watch (on-demand) webinars about high density concrete applications. Available webinars are: