Research paper: pyrrhotite in concrete aggregate

Pyrrhotite in Concrete Aggregate

Izelman Oliveira and others at the University Politecnica de Cataluna, Barcelona have published a paper on the oxidation of pyrrhotite in concrete aggregate in Spain. The authors report that the nature of pyrrhotite (in bands) creates planes of weakness that act as preferential paths for oxygen ingress.

The paper, titled “Evolution of pyrrhotite oxidation in aggregates for concrete” follows prior research by Oliveira et al., (2012): Olveira, I., Cavalara, S.H.P., and Aguado, A. (2012). New Unreacted-Core Model to Predict Pyrrhotite Oxidation in Concrete Dams. Journal of Materials in Civil Engineering. 25 (3), 372-381.… Read the rest

JEC vs. IAL pyrite case referred to European Court

JEC vs. IAL Pyrite Case

The Irish Times reported yesterday that the legal case brought against Irish Asphalt Ltd by James Elliot Construction  (JEC vs. IAL) for the supply of defective infill has been referred to the European Court of Justice for “determination of issues including the merchantable quality of goods”.


The summary below includes extracts from the Irish Times article.

  • JEC are suing IAL with respect to aggregate supplied for use in construction of the Ballymun Central Youth Facility (BCYF)
  • The BCYF underwent a €1.55m remediation project, required as a result of floor and wall cracking due to pyrite heave
  • A scientific paper on the pyrite heave problems at BCYF by Hawkins and Stevens (2013) can be found by clicking here
High Court
  • JEC brought legal action for compensation against IAL, claiming pyrite heave as the cause of damage
  • The High Court found the aggregate was not fit for purpose or of merchantable quality, and had caused pyrite heave
  • IAL appealed the decision to the Supreme Court and claimed it was not liable to JEC
Supreme Court
  • The Supreme Court found that IAL’s appeal should be dismissed, subject to any issue of European law
  • The Supreme Court therefore referred the case to the European Court of Justice
  • The Supreme Court upheld the finding that there was a breach of legislation in terms of merchantability under the Sale of Goods and Supply of Services Act 1980
  • The Supreme Court stated that it had set aside the High Court finding in relation to material suitability for purpose under the Sale of Goods and Supply of Services Act 1980
  • The Supreme Court reject IALs contention that liability to JEC was limited to the cost of infill replacement

The Supreme Court upheld the High Court view that the sulfur content of the infill did not meet the required standard and should not be overturned

Notes on EU law (from irish Times)

“In light of Irish Asphalt Ltd’s contention the High Court conclusions were inconsistent with and precluded by EU law, it had been decided to refer a number of questions on the case to the European Court of Justice for a preliminary ruling or reasoned order.

Read the rest