Holcim's main business segments are the manufacture and distribution of cement and aggregates. We also provide other construction materials and services based on these core products in the ready-mix concrete, asphalt and concrete products sectors, which bring us closer to the end-consumer.
Cement acts as the binding agent when mixed with water, sand and gravel or crushed stone to make concrete. Cement manufacture is a large-scale, complex and capital-intensive industrial process. Limestone and clay are heated to around 1,450 degrees Celsius in a rotary kiln, which creates the semi-finished product "clinker". Gypsum is then added to the clinker in the cement mill, and the mixture is ground to a fine powder known as traditional Portland cement.
Holcim offers customers a wide range of cement-based materials and develops customized blends for special applications, using varying amounts of other materials, such as granulated blast furnace slag, fly ash, pozzolan and limestone, to modify the properties of the cement.
Aggregates include crushed stone, gravel and sand. They are the main component of concrete, and are used in many other applications.
The production of aggregates centers on quarrying, preparing and sorting the raw material. Aggregates are mainly used in the manufacture of ready-mix concrete, concrete products and asphalt as well as for building roads and railways. The recycling of aggregates from concrete demolition material is also gaining in importance.
Other construction materials and services
This segment of our business focuses on the production and distribution of concrete and asphalt, as well as on offering construction and international trading services to our customers. In addition, we offer environmental services such as waste management.