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Bill Phelan is an advocate of self-consolidating concrete.
The Euclid Chemical Co. Bill Phelan is an advocate of self-consolidating concrete.

When the concept of self-consolidating concrete (SCC) came to the U.S., it was already well developed in Japan and Europe. “I quickly realized that the U.S. was not the leader in this technology,” says Bill Phelan, an icon in the concrete industry—and not just for admixtures. He soon realized that besides the advantages SCC provides for architectural concrete and heavily reinforced concrete, the great advantage is eliminating the vibrators.

“I saw a project in Atlanta with lots of architectural concrete that did not look so good,” Phelan says. “I asked the contractor why they didn’t teach their guys how to vibrate. He told me, ‘we do, but that lasts about one day; then they do whatever they want.’ So there are good reasons to use SCC.”

Phelan has continued his advocacy of SCC through his role as the official SCC champion for the Strategic Development Council (SDC), an off-shoot of the ACI Foundation. His goal is “15 by 15”—15% of all concrete being SCC by 2015. “Concrete costs about $1200/cubic yard in New York City,” he notes, “so $10 extra per yard for SCC is pretty insignificant given all of the advantages.”

Phelan has been an advocate for the best, most efficient use of materials for many years. In the January 2013 issue of Concrete Construction, he wrote an article pushing contractors to plan ahead for meetings to discuss mixes, especially the need for a well-thought-out agenda for a meeting prior to floor and topping installation. “A well-prepared, detailed agenda, which thoroughly addresses all aspects of the installation, and accurate minutes distributed soon after the meeting, minimize conflicts and greatly enhance the likelihood of success,” he wrote.

For promoting new materials and standing up for contractors’ rights, Phelan is one of this year’s Most Influential People.

Self-Consolidating Concrete Presentation & Forum

At 2014 World of Concrete, the Self-Consolidating Concrete Presentation & Forum was held. For a copy of the presentation, click here.