Alfablocs strong enough to withstand space rocket engine testing

We often get excited when we see how our retaining walls are being used by our customers, but we have to be honest and say that the excitement reached new levels recently when we saw this amazing video from Orbex.

Posted on: November 14th 2022    •    Posted in: Alfabloc, Case studies, Retaining Walls

Orbex is a UK-based private, low-cost orbital launch services company, serving the needs of the small satellite industry. They have developed one of the most advanced, low carbon, high performance micro-launch vehicles in the world, called Orbex Prime, which is capable of delivering small satellites into space.

As part of their development plans they built a test site in Scotland and required a precast concrete wall which was capable of protecting the surrounding area during rocket engine testing. They approached us to see if we could help, and after discussion, Alfabloc was the obvious choice.

We supplied and installed a number of Alfabloc 5 metre high units around the area where the testing was to take place. The units were bolted to the ground using our standard 500mm bolts and using our unique connecting strips the Alfablocs were then joined together to provide differing sized walls, providing boundary protection to the surrounding area.

Orbex Prime is the world’s most environmentally friendly rocket and has a carbon footprint up to 96 per cent lower than comparable launch vehicles powered by fossil fuels. It is powered by seven 3D printed rocket engines and is 19 metres long, comprising of two stages, with reusability built in from the start. It is built from state-of-the-art carbon fibre structures and is powered by Futuria Liquid Gas which is a sustainable form of LPG (liquefied petroleum gas), made from a blend of waste, residues and sustainably sourced materials resulting in a much lower carbon footprint.

The way Orbex has focussed on producing a more environmentally friendly solution is very impressive and resonates with us as a business. As a major precast concrete manufacturer we recognise the contribution we can make to help our customers lower their carbon footprint and this is now our major driver within the business. We continue to develop our sustainable product range under the brand name of Greenbloc and since January 2022 every product we manufacture is now available in an ultra-low carbon concrete option resulting in savings of up to 80% of embodied carbon.