Saudi Arabia’s multinational petroleum and natural gas company, Saudi Aramco and the US-based non-profit standards developing organization American Concrete Institute (ACI) has launched the Center of Excellence for Nonmetallic Building Materials (NEx) to enhance the use of nonmetallic materials in the construction sector.
The NEx will focus on accelerating the use of nonmetallic materials and products in construction and will strengthen ACI’s role as an authority and resource for the development, dissemination, and adoption of consensus-based standards for concrete design, construction, and materials. The center will be based at the ACI world headquarters in the US.
Ahmad Al-Sa’adi, Aramco SVP of Technical Services says that the energy giant has been developing and deploying nonmetallic solutions within its operations for more than 20 years, as they offer superior lifecycle cost, efficiency and environmental advantages over their metal alternatives.
The possibilities of using nonmetallic advanced polymeric materials are beyond the oil and gas sector and it includes the building and construction industries where there is significant potential.
“The center’s mission will be to collaborate globally on using nonmetallic materials in the built environment by driving research, education, awareness and technology adoption. Expanding incorporation of nonmetallic materials and products in the built environment will improve sustainability, contribute to a lower carbon footprint, and enhance the durability and longevity of structures.”
Aramco has been using nonmetallic materials in oil and gas facilities to reduce corrosion, weight and the cost of construction and operation. The new initiative with ACI is following the company’s broader strategy to step into new markets, leverage its hydrocarbon resources and technology to deliver advanced polymeric materials solutions in various sectors.
Nonmetallic materials are widely being deployed across multiple industries, like oil and gas, construction, automotive, packaging, and renewables. They provide several advantages over metallic materials, such as corrosion resistance, reduced weight, increased durability, lower cost and improved environmental efficiency.