SMR Frequently asked questions

What is the SMR technology?

SMR (Structural Material for Reinstatement) is a cementitious binder that when combined with excavated spoil, creates NFSMR (Non Flowable Structural Material for Reinstatement). SMR bonds spoil particles, increasing density and strengthening by up to 600% when compacted. It dries and stabilises excess moisture, ensuring optimum compaction and an impermeable final result.

What sets SMR apart from competitors?

SMR benefits from hands-on staffwith extensive experience in working with the material, ensuring a highly knowledgeable approach with our clients, understanding their unique needs and tailoring our solutions to meet their specific requirements.

SMR is Appendix A9 approved, fully compliant with industry standards and is a patented product. These patented features contribute to its exceptional performance and versatility.

Where can SMR be used?

Anywhere that you can use primary aggregates for sub-bases, bases, and binder courses. SMRis suitable for any road category within highways and can be used for soil stabilisation and for the treatment of contaminated land by encapsulating contaminated soils.

What are the Applications of SMR?

SMR can be used as a backfill material for reinstatements and for soil stabilisations projects. For reinstatement, we offer it as a hand-mix and batch-mix product for different project sizes and needs. For soil stabilisation, we offer SMR through an in-situ and ex-situ application method, and once stabilisaised, can be returned back to arable land. SMR can also treat contaminated soils.

SMR UK Binders can produce the following products:

  • Hydraulically Bound Materials (HBM) as per BS EN 14227
  • Hydraulically Bound Materials as per the Specification for Highways Works vol. 1, 800 series
  • Stabilised capping/fill materials as per the as Specification for Highways Works, Vol.1, 600 series.
  • NFSMR (Non-Flowable Structural Material for Reinstatement) and TMF (Treated material for fill) in accordance with the SROH 4th edition
Why should I use SMR instead of Type 1 Aggregates?

There are several reasons to choose SMR over Type 1 aggregates for your reinstatement and soil stabilisation projects:

  • Versatility: SMR is a versatile material suitable for a wide range of applications, including road construction, footpaths, utility repairs, and landscaping. Its adaptability makes it a practical choice for various projects. 
  • Performance: SMR provides excellent stability and strength, making it a reliable choice for sub-base and base layers in construction. It offers durability and long-lasting performance. It reduces layer thickness in road design, enhancing efficiency.
  • Environmental Benefits: SMR is an environmentally friendly option that promotes sustainability. SMR eliminates the need for spoil disposal and minimises landfill waste. SMR helps reduce carbon emissions associated with transportation, as it can often be produced locally and used on-site, reducing the need for long-distance transportation of aggregates. 
  • Compliance: SMR is compliant with industry standards and regulations, ensuring that it meets the required quality and performance benchmarks.

SMR offers a sustainable, cost-effective, and versatile alternative to Type 1 aggregates, making it a valuable choice for reinstatement and soil stabilisation projects.

Can SMR be used for both temporary and permanent projects?

Our SMR Reinstatement Solution is designed for permanent projects, providing long-lasting results, but is also tailored for easy removal if needed. Our Soil Stabilisation Solution can be used for permanent projects such as car park bases, and temporary projects such as haul roads. We also offer a full reversal process for our soil stabilisation solution, allowing the ground to return to its original state after full compaction.

Do I have to mix SMR with something, or can I use it on its own?

In all circumstances, SMR binder should be mixed with excavated spoil. For our hand-mix solution, SMR need to be mixed with the excavated spoil at the side of the excavation, whereas for our batch-mix solution, SMR is pre-mixed with recycled spoil at hub-sites. Please see our soil stabilisation section to see how SMR is mixed with the existing on-site material.

Can SMR work with hazardous materials?

Yes, SMR is effective in handling hazardous materials. It locks in contaminants, eliminating the need to export hazardous material, which also helps avoid tipping costs. SMR offers a practical solution for encapsulating and managing hazardous materials in various applications.

Is SMR HAUC A9 approved?

Yes.

What happens if I get the ratio wrong when using SMR?

Full training is provided to ensure that the correct ratio is applied, eliminating any issues of incorrect application. It’s important to follow the recommended mixing guidelines for optimal results.

What weather conditions are suitable for using SMR?

It is important to avoid freezing conditions when using SMR, as with any Cementitious applications in reinstatement. Optimal results are achieved in moderate weather conditions.

Can SMR withstand the rain/does SMR absorb rain?

SMR withstands rainfall as it is impermeable. It dries out and stabilises excess moisture, increasing soil density by up to 600%.

Is SMR corrosive?

No, SMR is an irritant, not corrosive. SMR is designed to be environmentally friendly and poses no risk of corrosion.

Does SMR contain Lime?

SMR does not contain Lime, and there are many reasons as to why SMR is a superior alternative to Lime and Cement.

Does SMR Prevent Potholes?

Yes, SMR can significantly reduce the likelihood of potholes in road and pavement surfaces. 

Is SMR harmful if it comes into contact with the skin?

Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) are provided, and it is advised to wear gloves, masks, and glasses while mixing the binder to ensure safety.

Can I mix SMR with topsoil?

No, SMR should not be mixed with topsoil as it is designed to be used with excavated spoil for optimal performance.

What end products can SMR Binders Produce?

SMR UK Binders can produce the following products:

  • Hydraulically Bound Materials (HBM) as per BS EN 14227
  • Hydraulically Bound Materials as per the Specification for Highways Works vol. 1, 800 series
  • Stabilised capping/fill materials as per the Specification for Highways Works, Vol.1, 600 series.
  • NFSMR (Non Flowable Structural Material for Reinstatement) and TMF (Treated material for fill) in accordance with the SROH 4th edition

SMR Reinstatement Solution

Can the Reinstatement Solution be re-excavated if needed?

Our SMR reinstatement solution is designed for permanent repairs, providing long-lasting results, but is also tailored for easy removal if needed. The binder in SMR only solidifies under compaction, ensuring stability and durability in various applications, when broken down, the binder crumbles, facilitating its removal.

What is the difference between SMR’s Hand-Mix vs Batch-Mix Reinstatement Solution?

Hand-Mix is suitable for projects requiring minimal reinstatement, such as small excavations and utility repairs. It is available in small, medium, and large tubs and is mixed on-site by a team.

Batch-Mix is ideal for routine utility works and mid-sized projects. It is provided through a ‘Tip & Take’ service available from SMR’s expanding national HUB dealer network. You can take your excavated spoil to the hub-site, tip the spoil there, and take pre-made recycled SMR material for your utility works, creating a circular economy.

Hand-Mix 

How long should I wait before applying cold lay on top of SMR?

You can apply cold lay immediately after the sufficient compaction of SMR.

How long should I mix SMR for?

Mix SMR until the powder is uniformly present within the spoil. Full training is provided to ensure proper mixing.

Can a job be too small to use hand mix?

No, the product range available consists of small tubs, medium tubs and large bags allowing for a range of excavation sizes depending on work applications.

Does it stain the floor when mixing?

No it doesn’t stain. However, we suggest a plastic sheet or board adjacent the excavation and turn the binder in whilst excavating to stay clean and tidy during the mixing process.

How many people would it take to use hand mix for a re-instatement?

A single crew can carry out the complete job. Dig, Repair, Backfill and Reinstate whilst onsite. Significantly reducing site occupation time.

What Applications can Hand-Mix be used for?

SMR Hand-Mix is a versatile reinstatement solution suitable for various applications, including:

  • Alternative backfill materials for small utility reinstatements. As a combined sub-base and binder course within any reinstatement in footways, footpaths, and cycle tracks.
  • Stabilising utility poles.
  • Sub-bases for pavement repairs.
  • Construction of fences, retaining walls, and sign posts.
  • Landscaping projects.
  • Meeting the needs of the DIY and builders market.
  • Creating foundations for patios and driveways.
  • Establishing shed bases.
  • Installing fence posts and gates.

 

SMR UK Binders can produce the following products:

  • Hydraulically Bound Materials (HBM) as per BS EN 14227
  • Hydraulically Bound Materials as per the Specification for Highways Works vol. 1, 800 series
  • Stabilised capping/fill materials as per the as Specification for Highways Works, Vol.1, 600 series.
  • NFSMR (Non-Flowable Structural Material for Reinstatement) and TMF (Treated material for fill) in accordance with the SROH 4th edition
Who accepts liability for the backfill, as aggregates products are guaranteed by the manufacturer?

As with aggregate products, responsibility for compaction lies with the end user. Training, method statements, and support are provided to ensure correct blending and compaction.

What to do when the material is clay?

Handmix can still be used as SMR breaks down the clay, binding to clay particles, allowing for better compaction.

What to do when the excavated material has been left open to the elements and becomes soaking wet?

Pump water from the excavation. Wet material can be blended with SMR, and additional binder can be added. Compacted correctly, it becomes impermeable.

Batch-Mix 

What Applications can Batch-Mix be used for?

SMR Batch-Mix is a versatile backfill material that can be used in various applications, including:

  • Reinstatement
  • As a sub-base within any reinstatement.
  • As a combined sub-base and base within any reinstatement in Road Types 1, 2, 3 & 4.
  • As a base within any reinstatement in Road Types 3 & 4.
  • As a combined sub-base and binder course within any reinstatement in footways, footpaths, and cycle tracks.
  • As a sub-base material for any other projects to replace Type 1

 

SMR UK Binders can produce the following products:

  • Hydraulically Bound Materials (HBM) as per BS EN 14227
  • Hydraulically Bound Materials as per the Specification for Highways Works vol. 1, 800 series
  • Stabilised capping/fill materials as per the as Specification for Highways Works, Vol.1, 600 series.
  • NFSMR (Non-Flowable Structural Material for Reinstatement) and TMF (Treated material for fill) in accordance with the SROH 4th edition
How is Batch-Mix Provided?

It is provided through a ‘Tip & Take’ service available from SMR’s expanding national HUB dealer network. You can take your excavated spoil to the hub-site, tip the spoil there, and takepre-mixed recycled SMR material for your utility works, creating a circular economy.

Hub-Site

What is a Hub Site?

A Hub site is a licensed recycling facility dedicated to the recovery of aggregates from utility and construction excavations. The materials are recovered and rigorously tested to meet BSEN and WRAP QP Standards, demonstrating End of Waste compliance.

Who uses our Hub sites?

Various types of customers utilise our Hub sites, including:

  • Utility contractors: They dispose of and collect materials from excavations related to their work streams.
  • Construction companies: They make use of the recovered materials in projects associated with infrastructure work streams.
What are the benefits of using an SMR UK Hub Site for our reinstatement material?

Using an SMR UK Hub Site offers several advantages:

  • Reduces the amount of material sent to landfill facilities.
  • Serves as a direct replacement for Type 1 material, offering cost-effective and sustainable alternatives.
  • Meets green credentials, promoting environmentally friendly practices.
  • Reduces layer thickness in road design, enhancing efficiency.
  • Contributes to carbon neutrality, reducing the carbon footprint associated with construction and utility projects.
How can I start using SMR UK’s Hub Sites?

To start using our Hub Sites, you can:

  • Check our dedicated hub site page on our website for locations and details.
  • Get in touch with us directly, and we will provide information on the nearest Hub Site where you can acquire SMR for your specific needs. Our team is here to assist you in every step of the process.
How can I become an SMR UK Hub Site partner?

We are currently launching new hub-sites nationally. Contact us if you want to be an SMR UK hub-site partner. 

SMR Soil Stabilisation Solution 

Can SMR Soil Stabilisation Solution be used for both temporary and permanent projects?

Our Soil Stabilisation Solution can be used for permanent projects such as car park bases, and temporary projects such as haul roads. We also offer a full reversal process for our soil stabilisation solution, allowing the ground to return to its original state after full compaction.

What are the benefits of the SMR reversal process?

The SMR reversal process offers several benefits when using SMR Binder for soil stabilisation:

  • Unharmful to Soils: SMR Binder is uniquely blended to be unharmful to soils, ensuring that the stabilised area can be safely and effectively reversed to its original state without causing harm or degradation to the soil.
  • Restoration of Soil Properties: The reversal process aims to return the pH values and soil properties to their original values. This restoration allows for the soil to regain its natural characteristics, promoting healthy soil conditions for re-growth and agricultural use.
  • Minimal Environmental Impact: By utilising the SMR Binder and its reversible process, the intervention of infrastructure in agricultural or natural areas can be minimised. This helps protect the environment and maintain the ecological balance of the region.
  • Agricultural Preservation: The reversible process ensures that agricultural land remains unharmed and can continue to be used for farming and cultivation without long-term adverse effects.

SMR UK provides a complete process for the safe and effective reversal of soil stabilisation using SMR Binder. Detailed guidance and instructions can be found on our reversal process page, ensuring that the process is carried out correctly and efficiently.

Is SMR effective for the remediation of contaminated land?

Absolutely, SMR can be used in the treatment of contaminated land by encapsulating contaminated soils, including heavy metals, coal tar, asbestos, TPH (Total Petroleum Hydrocarbons), and PAH (Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons).

In-Situ vs. Ex-Situ Soil Stabilisation Mixing Method

What is the difference between in-situ and ex-situ soil stabilisation mixing methods using SMR?

Unharmful to Soils: SMR Binder is uniquely blended to be unharmful to soils, ensuring that the stabilised area can be safely and effectively reversed to its original state without causing harm or degradation to the soil.

Restoration of Soil Properties: The reversal process aims to return the pH values and soil properties to their original values. This restoration allows for the soil to regain its natural characteristics, promoting healthy soil conditions for re-growth and agricultural use.

Minimal Environmental Impact: By utilising the SMR Binder and its reversible process, the intervention of infrastructure in agricultural or natural areas can be minimised. This helps protect the environment and maintain the ecological balance of the region.

Agricultural Preservation: The reversible process ensures that agricultural land remains unharmed and can continue to be used for farming and cultivation without long-term adverse effects.

 

Our In-situ mixing method for soil stabilisation involves treating sub-soil that needs to remain on-site to be re-used and treated, without the need for stockpiling material or digging up the ground. It requires one pass with our machine as SMR is distributed, mixed with the sub-soil and compacted simultaneously. 

Our ex-situ mixing method for soil stabilisation, on the other hand, is suitable for large projects with ongoing stabilisation or sub-base material needs in substantial quantities. SMR material is brought in bulk, mixed with excavated ground in our mobile mixing machine, and 

 

 

 

 

 

stockpiled on-site. Material is collected from the stockpile, laid, processed, and laid back on-site. Ex-situ can also be beneficial when the site is too small for the in-situ method.

The choice between in-situ and ex-situ soil stabilisation depends on factors like site size, material quantities, and the need for continuous stabilisation. Project-specific requirements should be considered.

Testing and Services

What services does SMR provide?
  • Manufacturer and supplier of binder and drying agents
  • Training 
  • Testing
  • Mobile mixer hire and sales
  • Soil stabilisation contractor
  • Full consultancy and support 

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