Dunbar Plant produces cement. Cement is the most versatile building material in the world. It is a fundamental material in the construction of buildings and structures from homes to hospitals, transport links to patios.
Limestone is the main raw material used to make cement, and is taken from Dunbar quarry. The limestone seams lie 25 to 50 metres underground, and the rock is then extracted through controlled blasting, or shot-firing.
The Dunbar quarry team carries out around 135 blasts each year, and sometimes as many as four in a week.
We are at the forefront of cement innovation, and have research and development facilities around Europe which enable us to continually develop new products to meet customers’ needs.
At Dunbar, we produce different types of cement:
- Phoenix - the UK’s lowest CO2 cement for sustainable construction
- Ferrocrete - a rapid hardening, high early strength cement, particularly useful for cold-weather building
- Mastercrete - this contains finely ground limestone to make a more sustainable product. It is the UK’s first plastic packed cement product, and is 39% more environmentally friendly than paper-packed cement because there is less waste from spoilage(multi sized bags)
- In 2021 we launched a first for sustainable packaging for cement in the UK - 50% recycled plastic bags for our products.
History of cement
Cements were used as far back as Mesopotamia in the third millennium B.C., and were made from lime, sand, and gravel. It was also used in ancient Egypt to help create the great pyramids, and in Rome to create the Pantheon and aqueducts.
Today, making cement is an innovative and high-tech process. It involves processing and reaction of the raw materials at high temperatures in cement kiln.
At Tarmac we combine the knowledge and expertise of two of the construction industry’s most iconic brands: Tarmac, the pioneers of the modern road and Blue Circle the company that patented Portland Cement.
With over 150 years’ experience, we have many innovative achievements to our name: the invention of asphalt, a product that remains synonymous with our brand; the construction of the first motorway; the introduction of next-generation concretes and cements.
These breakthroughs all helped to shape the world we live in. Now we are working to help reshape it. Across our business, the wider supply chain and our research partners, we are looking at new ways to enhance productively, reduce carbon and value engineer efficiencies – whilst driving more sustainable construction.