When a client was asked to undertake a comprehensive testing regime on a flowable grout, by their own admission they underestimated the scale of the task. With a set of three cubes required for every batch of material produced – equating to 15 concrete test cubes per hour – Propump Engineering’s lightweight polystyrene cube moulds came to the rescue.

Set to stabilise a listed building in the centre of Manchester, part of the contractor’s scope of works was to take material samples of a high early strength grout. After investigating the use of traditional steel moulds which weigh 16kg each when empty, the logistics of getting nearly 1.5 tonnes of steel moulds to site every day proved impractical. And with each cube weighing nearly 23kg when full of grout, handling was a potential issue.

Programmed to be completed over a 7 day period, and with grout strength gain figures required on a daily basis before grouting could continue, a quick turnaround of material samples was paramount. Requiring a simplified process and a lightweight testing solution – Propump Engineering’s polystyrene cube moulds proved ideal.

“Available in both 100mm (4”) and 150mm (6”) sizes and weighing only 50 grams each, getting the required quantity to site was no issue,” explains Propump Engineering’s David Aldridge. “In fact, as we were completing a project of our own only a few miles away, one of our site team put 480 cubes in his van and dropped them off at site – and we would not have been able to do that with steel moulds.”

David added: “The use of polystyrene moulds enabled the testing process to be adhered to at a fraction of the costs involved in hiring or buying the steel moulds, with the huge added bonus of ease of manoeuvrability and handling that the lightweight test cubes afforded.”

Propump’s polystyrene cube moulds provide a top cover that keeps the heat and humidity constant and acts as a curing room. Extremely lightweight and easy to handle, the polystyrene mould also acts as a protective case during transport to ensure consistency of the product. Any trouble concerning the cleaning de-moulding and any subsequent maintenance is also eliminated.

Suitable for testing all manner of materials including foamed and air entrained concrete, grouts, and other liquid cementitious slurries, the cube moulds are sold in boxes of 48 and 125 (for the 150mm and 100mm moulds respectively). They are ex stock and available on a next day basis (via courier) to most parts of the UK.