The Only Integral
Concrete Hardener

Hard-Cem™ is engineered to provide concrete with superior hardness and increased mechanical wear durability for demanding construction projects.

Hard-Cem™ is unique in its ability to enhance the integrity of air-entrained and non air-entrained concrete.

Square feet of Hard-Cem™ concrete installed since 2003 See Hard-Cem Project Profiles »

Vancouver Convention Center Calgary Bus Barn Rio Tinto Smelter Modernization Esquimalt Canadian Hydro Gibraltar Mine Island Honda Dealership Metro Skate Park Seattle Iron and Metals Vancouver Convention Center Calgary Bus Barn Rio Tinto Smelter Modernization Esquimalt

About Hard-Cem™

Integral Concrete Hardener

Hard-Cem™ is a concrete hardener developed for ready-mix and pre-cast concrete applications.

Hard-Cem™ is added to the concrete mix during the batching operation. Hard-Cem™ is the only hardener of its kind that can be utilized in air-entrained concrete. Hard-Cem™ overcomes the deficiencies of surface applied hardeners which are labor intensive, problematic for quality control and not suitable for air-entrained concrete applications.

Hard-Cem™ is a functional filler additive (not a chemical admixture) which can be used in any concrete mix composition with no effect to concrete qualities. Hard-Cem™ is a fine powder which handles similar to cement and is added during batching providing consistent quality and through-hardening of concrete. Hard-Cem™ is available in batch inclusive paper bags or bulk shipment throughout North America.

Standard ASTM abrasion tests have shown Hard-Cem™ improves abrasion resistance from 200% to over 600% compared with non hardened concrete samples.

Hard-Cem powder


World of Concrete - Most innovative product award for Hard-cem, integral concrete hardener

Winner of 2007 Experts' and Industry Choice Awards

Significantly increase abrasion resistance on a wide range of concrete exposure classes

increase in abrasion resistance of hard-cem with different exposure classes
Hard-Cem Project for the Vancouver Convention Center

Building Floor (N)

Hard-Cem Project for the Vancouver Convention Center


Hard-Cem Project for the Vancouver Convention Center

Pavement (C-1)

Hard-Cem Project for the Vancouver Convention Center

Pre-Cast Concrete (S-2)

Hard-Cem Project for the Vancouver Convention Center

Pavement (C-2)

Hard-Cem Project for the Vancouver Convention Center

Pre-Cast Concrete (C-XL)

Hard-Cem™ Performance

Abrasion Resistance of Hard-Cem™ and Concrete Compressive Strength

It is widely published in literature that abrasion resistance of concrete increases non linearly with increase in concrete compressive strength. As shown in the wear depth chart, increasing the concrete compressive strength by adding supplementary cementing materials (SCM) such as fly ash, slag cement or silica fume and/or portland cement has diminishing benefits on abrasion resistance.

Concrete with Hard-Cem™ is a revolutionary product as it provides a step change in abrasion resistance across the entire range of concrete compressive strengths.

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Normalized graph of hard-cem vs. standard concrete when compared to increase in compressive strength

To better illustrate the benefits of Hard-Cem™ for abrasion resistance, the ratio of the wear depth of the control concrete to the wear depth of concrete with Hard-Cem™ is shown. This directly compares the effectiveness of Hard-Cem™ across the entire range of concrete compressive strength.

Concrete with Hard-Cem™ has an increasing benefit on abrasion resistance with increasing concrete compressive strength.

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Increase in Abrasion wear of concrete with the increase in concrete strength

Concrete with Hard-Cem™ is applied at a standard dosage across all concrete compressive strengths which results in a fixed value add cost. On the other hand, increasing concrete compressive strength by adding SCM's will result in ever increasing costs.

Concrete with Hard-Cem™ is the only cost effective choice for abrasion resistance.

Abrasion Resistance of Hard-Cem™ and Surface Hardeners

There is no Competition for Hard-Cem™!

Hard-Cem™ increases the wear life by More Than 6 Times

Comparison of Hard-Cem to surface hardeners

Concrete with Shake on Hardener


Abrasion wear of concrete example

Concrete with Hard-Cem™


Abrasion wear of concrete example

Hard-Cem™ Value


Hard-Cem™ Advantages

Cost Effective

Increased Concrete Hardness

Full Depth Concrete Hardening

Compatible with Air Entrained Concrete

Improved Site Safety During Construction

Increased Abrasion & Erosion Resistance

Improved Concrete Construction Sustainability

Extended Concrete Abrasion Resistance Wear Life

Hard-Cem™ Value

Comparison of lifespan and cost of standard concrete and Hard-Cem

Hard-Cem™ Sustainability

Every dollar spent on concrete with Hard-Cem™ achieves best in class wear durability that at least doubles your concrete wear life

Hard-Cem™ substantially increases the abrasive and erosive service life of concrete. By increasing the abrasive-erosive service life of concrete, concrete maintenance costs are reduced and replacement of the concrete is substantially deferred, thus conserving natural resources, reducing carbon footprint and embodied energy consumption associated with the replacement concrete.

Why Hard-Cem™

Concrete @ 28 days

Abrasion wear of concrete example

After abrasion/erosion

Abrasion wear of concrete example

After abrasion/erosion with Hard-Cem™

Abrasion wear of concrete with Hard-Cem example

What is Abrasion?

Abrasion is the process of scuffing, scratching, wearing down, or rubbing away. Abrasion can be an undesirable effect of exposure to normal use or exposure to the elements.

American Concrete Institute (ACI): defines concrete Abrasion Resistance as the "ability of a surface to resist being worn away by rubbing and friction.”

What is Erosion?

Erosion is the progressive wear of concrete surfaces in hydraulic structures caused by abrasive effects of waterborne silt, sand, gravel, rocks, ice, and other debris. The action of these abrasive materials carried by flowing water generally leads to erosion of the concrete.

Causes of Abrasion/Erosion

Hardness is a measure of the resistance of a body to any indentation deformation.

Under load, a harder material will penetrate or impinge on a softer material.

Under friction, the harder material will scratch or gouge the softer material surface (e.g.: diamond is harder than steel is harder than wood).

In many structures, as the paste of the concrete wears due to abrasion and erosion, the fine and coarse aggregates are exposed causing accelerated degradation of the concrete surface.

Hard objects sliding or rolling across concrete surfaces such as pallet jacks, hand trucks (carts and dollies), forklifts, industrial trucks, etc.

Hard particles (sand, natural debris, metal filings, etc) trapped between steel or hard rubber wheeled traffic and the concrete surface.

Silt, sand, gravel, rocks, ice, and other debris found in flowing water impinging upon the concrete surface.

How Hard-Cem™ Solves the Problem

Hard-Cem™ is a proprietary concrete additive that increases the hardness of the concrete paste and cannot be readily penetrated by surface pressure

  • Integral: Provides quality ensured, full-depth hardening
  • Composition: Chemically inert mineral based product
  • Application: Can harden horizontal, vertical or inclined surfaces
  • Versatile: Compatible with air-entrained and non air-entrained concrete
  • Ease of Use: Dosed accurately during ready-mix production at the batch plant
  • Quality Control: Requires no field application or adaptation to site conditions
  • Reactivity: No side effects on concrete water demand, workability, finishability, strength development and shrinkage

Standard Concrete

Hard-Cem solution for abrasion and erosion Hard-Cem solution for abrasion and erosion

ASTM C 627 Robinson Abrasion Test

Concrete with Hard-Cem™

Hard-Cem solution for abrasion and erosion Hard-Cem solution for abrasion and erosion Hard-Cem solution summary


Manufacturing Facilities

Distribution facilities

Service/Repair Bays



Highway Pavements

Bridge Decks / Piers



Parking Structures

Ramps / Aprons







Livestock Housing

Storage Sheds

Tractor Garages




Spillways / Aprons

Stilling Basins


Drainage Conduits

Culverts / Tunnels

Oil and Gas

Process Buildings

Utility Buildings

Maintenance Buildings


Hard-Cem™ Abrasion Applications

Application: Infrastructure

Project Profile

City of Calgary Transit
Dynamic Concrete Pumping
Project Manager:
Devitt & Forand Contractors
Concrete Supplier:
Inland Concrete Ltd.

Calgary Bus Barn

In September 2003, Calgary Transit constructed a 8,609m² (92,666 ft²) addition to their bus barn facility involving 1,290 cubic meters of both air and non-air entrained abrasion resistant concrete. Abrasion resistant concrete was specified to withstand heavy wear of bus traffic. The bus barn entrance aprons specified 4% to 7% air entrainment for the CSA Class C2 exposure conditions with the remainder of the interior concrete being non-air entrained (Class N). The slab thickness was 6” (150mm).

The project manager Devitt & Forand, and the concrete supplier Inland Concrete, recommended Hard-Cem™, an integral concrete hardener to provide a superior abrasion resistant concrete floor. Hard-Cem™ was simply added at the Inland Concrete batch plant mixer from a silo at a rate of 40 kg/m³ and supplied over three days of pumped concrete placement. The finishers appreciated the quality controlled mix which was “creamier” and easier to work and finish. Hard-Cem™ was ideal for this application requiring both freeze-thaw durability and superior abrasion resistance.

Application: Industrial

Project Profile

Rio Tinto Alcan Inc.
DL Baker Canada
Bechtel Canada
Concrete Supplier:
Kentron Construction, Division of YCS

Rio Tinto Alcan Smelter Modernization

Rio Tinto is a leading international mining group involved in exploration, mining and processing mineral resources worldwide. In 2011, Rio Tinto Alcan began a 4.8 billion dollar modernization project of its 60 year old aluminium smelter located in Kitimat, BC.

The Kitimat modernization project (KMP) will boost production by 48% to 420,000 tons per year and reduce overall facility emissions by 50% and will be one of the most modern smelters in the world and among the largest of Rio Tinto’s smelters.

Modernization includes construction of new potlines consisting of 360 pots housed in 6 buildings compared to the smelters 900 smaller pots in 15 buildings. A potline building houses a series of pots (large electrolyte cells) that produce aluminium that can extend for more than a kilometer (0.6 miles) in length. Over 500 tonnes of Hard-Cem™ was used in approximately 12,500 m3 (16,700 yd3) of concrete in the KMP program.

Hard-Cem™ was presented by Kentron Construction and approved by the projects EPCM Bechtel Canada for its proven performance in demanding mining environments where concrete is subject to impact and abrasion from loaders, fork lifts and other transport vehicles moving raw materials and finished goods from processing and production facilities to warehousing. Hard-Cem™ will not affect conductivity of concrete making it an effective superior performing product for the smelters electrical environment.

Application: Mining

Project Profile

Taseko Mines Limited
Allnorth Consultants Limited
Concrete Supplier:
CIF Construction Ltd.
Brock White Canada Company

Gibraltar Mine

Taseko’s Gibraltar copper-molybdenum mine is located in south-central British Columbia, approximately 60kms north of the City of Williams Lake. Built in 1972, the Gibraltar Mine is the second largest open pit copper molybdenum mine in Canada.

As part of a multi-phase expansion and modernization program, Allnorth Consultants Limited provided engineering for the construction of a new 4 bay truck shop and maintenance facility to house Komatsu 930E haul trucks which weigh 207 tons empty and approximately 495 tons loaded and have a body capacity of 276 yd³. Allnorth specified Hard-Cem™ Integral Concrete Hardener for the new shop which measured 225 feet long by 100 feet wide and 70 feet high and included a 50 ton overhead crane for servicing the haul trucks.

Application: Oil and Gas

Project Profile

Imperial Oil
Concrete Supplier:
Inland Concrete

Imperial Oil - Kearl

Kearl, located 70 kilometers north of Fort McMurray and jointly owned by Imperial (71 percent) and ExxonMobil Canada (29 percent), is one of Canada’s highest-quality oil sands deposits. It has an estimated 4.6 billion barrels of recoverable bitumen resource, which will help meet North America’s energy needs for the next 40 years.

Production of mined diluted bitumen at Kearl began on April 27, 2013. All three froth treatment trains are now operational and bitumen production continues to increase towards planned production volumes of 110,000 barrels per day.

Hard-Cem™ Applications to date: most typically Hard-Cem™ has been used in oil and gas facility flat-work in the following areas:

  • Process facility floors
  • Equipment maintenance building floors and wash bays
  • On-Site warehouses (parts and supplies)

Hard-Cem™ Integral Concrete Hardener is a proven technology that will maintain the integrity of concrete relative to abrasion and erosion. Hard-Cem™ is unique in its ability to enhance the integrity of air-entrained and non-air entrained concretes. Hard-Cem™ provides significant advantages for projects needing enhanced durability including: paving, bridges, parkades, industrial floors, precast pipe, dams, spillways, stilling basins, and erosion control structures. Hard-Cem™ delivers value, quality assurance and LEED credits for projects.

Application: Military

Project Profile

Defense Canada. Canadian Forces Naval Base.
Stuart Olson Constructors Inc.
Vancouver Island, BC

Canadian Forces Base - Esquimalt

The Canadian forces naval base was a modernization and upgrade project ($250M total project cost.) It included the consolidation of several base operations, replacing 38 obsolete base buildings. The second largest enclosed building on the NA west coast, after the Boeing aircraft facility in WA.

Hard-Cem™ was used in Phase IV of the total project ($47.3M). Hardened concrete flat-work within FMF Cape Breton, the base military equipment overhaul, maintenance and repair dockyard.

Hard-Cem™ concrete flat-work area constructed to date is approximately 40,000 ft2 of 40 MPa (6000 psi), 12-inch thick structural concrete. Construction consists of both structural SOGs and pile supported suspended slabs over crawlspaces and seawater. The structure is designed to withstand earthquake and tsunami exposure. Approximately 1,100 m3/ (1,400 yd3) of Hard-Cem™ concrete used on the project (45 tonnes of Hard-Cem™).

Hard-Cem™ repeat specified in Phase 5 of the project being constructed this year (repeat Hard-Cem™ specification.)

Application: Commercial

Project Profile

The Odom Corporation
Divcon Inc.
Concrete Supplier:
Central Premix
Spokane, WA

Odom Distribution

Odom is a wholesale beverage distributor operating in Alaska, Idaho, Oregon and Washington. (Coke, Coors, Rock Star)

2012: $20 million, 200,000-square-foot regional warehouse facility. 4,500 yards of Hard-Cem™ concrete. The new building will be regional distribution center / hub for Central and Eastern Washington.

2015: Repeat specified Hard-Cem. Second facility 92,000 square foot distribution center completed in 2015 in Hayden, ID for North Idaho operations.

Hard-Cem™ Erosion Applications

Application: Hydro - New Construction

Project Profile

MWH Global
Pic Mobert Hydro Inc.
Ready Mix Supplier:
Lafarge Canada ECAN Projects
Brock White, Thunder Bay

White River

The White River Hydro Project is located on the White River approximately 70 kms west of the Town of White River in Ontario, Canada. The project is a partnership between Regional Power and Pic Mobert First Nations.

The greenfield project consists of two separate generation sites, Gitchi Animki Bezhig (Upper) and Gitchi Animki Niizh (Lower) located approximately 10 kms from each other. The existing White Lake Dam is to be decommissioned as part of the project. The function of lake level and flood control will be carried out by the new Bezhig (Upper) site.

The project specifications: Hydraulic Head: Upper 14 m, Lower 21 m. Combined capacity for both stations is 19 MW, 9 MW for Bezhig (Upper) and 10 MW for Niizh(Lower). Watershed area is approximately 4,000 square kilometers and a 21 km long new 115 kV transmission line.

Hydroelectric concrete hydraulic structures require high resistance to erosion to minimize wearing away of the concrete structure under the action of running water and debris. MWH Engineering had previous success using Hard-Cem™ to enhance the erosion resistance of a concrete run of river structure in Sechelt, BC three years ago. Repeat specified by MWH Engineering for this remote project, Hard-Cem™ concrete was used in over 6,000 m3 of concrete placed between November of 2014 and October 2015.

The White River Hydroelectric Project concrete specification called for Hard-Cem™ to be used in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions for all concrete exposed to running water, a standard dosage of 40 kgs per m3 of concrete, for Exposure Class F-1 with air content of 5% +/- 1%.

The regional aggregates had the potential of being alkali silica reactive. To mitigate this the mix called for a supplementary cementitious material. Low alkali content Fly ash (<3.0% Na2O) was required resulting in minimum cement replacement levels of 30%. Lafarge established a portable silo on site and 240 tonnes of bulk Hard-Cem™ was transported from Cementec’s manufacturing facility in Calgary, Alberta, Canada to Lafarge’s batch plant located at the remote site in Northern Ontario.

Application: Hydro - Repair / Maintenance

Project Profile

Canadian Hydro Developers
Project Manager:
Canadian Projects Ltd.
Consulting Engineer (structural):
Concrete Supplier:
Cardinal Concrete - Squamish
Concrete Placer:
Graham Industrial Services
Total Area:
150 cubic meters

Canadian Hydro

Canadian Hydro Developers constructed an independent power project in 2004/2005 for generation of electricity in the Squamish, British Columbia area. The facility is a run-of-river hydro plant that diverts water from the Mamquam River through a penstock into turbines located in a powerhouse downstream. The water turns the turbines generating 25 MW of power and is returned to the river directly below the powerhouse. Hard-Cem™ concrete, because of its abrasion resistant characteristics was specified for the bottom 4 meters of the sluice-way structure which will be subjected to the greatest erosion forces.

The sluice-way structure is an open channel inside a dam designed to collect and divert ice and trash (e.g., logs) in the river before they get into the turbine units and cause damage. For a period of 6 months, during construction of the weir, the entire Mamquam River was diverted through the sluice-way structure with river flows that exceeded 40m3/second. Fully operational, the sluice-way structure will be used to allow sediment to flow through the intake channel during flood events. This diversion will prevent silt from building up in the channel floor. Hard-Cem™ was utilized to combat the erosion forces due to the volume of water carrying light bedload. Everyone involved in the placement and finishing were impressed with the Hard-Cem™ concrete’s workability in the challenging construction conditions. Hard-Cem™ durability and abrasion resistance will result in increased concrete life expectancy and reduced concrete maintenance costs.

Application: Hydro - Water Treatment

Project Profile

Metro Greater Vancouver Regional District
Stantec Consulting Ltd.
Engineering Company:
CH2M Hill Canada
General Contractor:
Kenaidan Construction
Ready Mix Supplier:
RMC Ready Mix
LRutt Contracting

Iona Wastewater Treatment Plant

Iona Island Wastewater Treatment Plant is located in Richmond, BC. The plant provides primary treatment to wastewater for over 600,000 residents in Vancouver and parts of Burnaby and Richmond.

The plant opened in 1963 and has been expanded six times to accommodate population growth and treatments upgrades. The current upgrade began in October, 2015 and is scheduled for completion in February 2019.

Primary treatment facilities experience large volumes of fluid borne erosion through the mechanical process beginning with screening where wastewater is screened to remove wood, stones, plastics and other large debris then on to pumping where wastewater is pumped to a higher elevation so gravity can move it through the treatment process. Grit removal uses pumped air to keep organic materials suspended while forcing grit – sand and gravel – to settle and be removed then on to removing solids which occurs in the sedimentation tanks where the heavier ‘sludge’ settles to the bottom and lighter ‘scum’ floats to the top.

The primary treatment process exposes the concrete tanks to erosive wear through constant pumped water with large particles. Hard-Cem™ is the only concrete hardener that can be used in vertical and horizontal applications to withstand the abrasive-erosive streams the tanks are exposed to. Hard-Cem™’s versatility allowed for Hard-Cem™ shotcrete being placed in the primary treatment screening tanks, providing the tank bottoms and walls with highly erosion resistant concrete surfaces. Additionally Hard-Cem™ was utilized in the facility cast-in-place flat-work in key areas subject to mechanical abrasion.

The plant uses anaerobic digestion to break down organic materials from wastewater to produce bio solids and methane gas. The methane generates heat and electricity that is used to run the plant. The plant produces about 9,500 bulk tonnes of bio solids every year. Once treated, the wastewater is discharged back into the Strait of Georgia.

Primary treatment uses various mechanical processes to remove materials that settle or float. It removes 50 to 60 per cent of the total suspended solids (TSS) and 30 to 50 per cent of the biochemical oxygen demand (BOD). The Iona Island wastewater treatment plant provides primary treatment.

Secondary treatment is an additional treatment step that takes place after primary treatment. Secondary treatment is a biological process that uses aerobic bacteria to consume suspended solids and dissolved organic materials in wastewater. Secondary treatment plants remove about 95 per cent of the organic materials in wastewater.

Find a Hard-Cem™ Distributor Near You

Brock White Construction Materials

#106 20121 100A Avenue, Langley, BC,CA


Brock White Construction Materials

2658 Wilfert Road, Victoria, BC,CA


Brock White Construction Materials

1706 Ogilvie Street, Prince George, BC,CA


Central Concrete Accessories

10086 199b St #101, Langley, BC,CA


National Concrete Accessories

855 Laval Crescent, Kamloops, BC,CA


Nu-West Construction Products Inc.

Unit 190, 6260 Graybar Road, Richmond, BC,CA


Northland Construction Supply

# 7 4812 78th St., Red Deer, AB,CA


Northland Construction Supply

11531 160th Street, Edmonton, AB,CA


Northland Construction Supply

190 MacAlpine Crescent, Fort McMurray, AB,CA


Northland Construction Supply

3760 18th Ave N, Lethbridge, AB,CA


Nu-West Construction Products Inc.

250 Hodsman Road, Regina, SK,CA


Nu-West Construction Products Inc.

403-2750 Faithfull Avenue, Saskatoon, SK,CA


Brock White Construction Materials

897 Keewatin Street, Winnipeg, MB,CA


Nu-West Construction Products Inc.

750 Marion Street, Winnipeg, MB,CA


Brock White Construction Materials

715 Norah Crescent, Thunder Bay, ON,CA


Form & Build Supply Inc.

1175 Frances street, London, ON,CA


Form & Build Supply Inc.

7456 Tranmere Dr, Mississauga, ON,CA


Form & Build Supply Inc.

12 Shirley Ave., Kitchener, ON,CA


Form & Build Supply Inc.

5360 Brendan Lane, Windsor, ON,CA


Form & Build Supply Inc.

140 Lancing Drive, Hamilton, ON,CA


Geroquip Inc.

4795 Louis B. Mayer Street, Laval, QC,CA


Geroquip Inc.

210 Fortin Street, Quebec City, QC,CA


Arrow Construction Products Ltd

341 Collishaw Street, Moncton, NB,CA


Arrow Construction Products Ltd

755 Bayside Drive, Saint John, NB,CA


Arrow Construction Products Ltd

55 Hubbard Road, Fredericton, NB,CA


Arrow Construction Products Ltd

370 Wright Avenue, Dartmouth, NS,CA


Arrow Construction Products Ltd

19 Old Placentia Road, Mount Pearl, NL,CA


AH Harris & Sons Inc

367 Alumni Road, Newington, CT,USA


AH Harris & Sons Inc

14 Rainmaker Drive, Portland, ME,USA


Brock White Construction Materials

#100 3855 Independence Road, Brainerd, MN,USA


Brock White Construction Materials

4231 West 1st Street, Duluth, MN,USA


Brock White Construction Materials

1243 Eagan Industrial Rd., Eagan, MN,USA


Brock White Construction Materials

12785 Elk Lake Road, Elk River, MN,USA


Brock White Construction Materials

6784 10th Ave SW, Rochester, MN,USA


Brock White Construction Materials

2575 Kasota Avenue, St. Paul, MN,USA


Brock White Construction Materials

580 41st. Avenue North, St. Cloud, MN,USA


Brock White Construction Materials

3420 East Century Avenue, Bismarck, ND,USA


Brock White Construction Materials

1425 41st Street N, Fargo, ND,USA


AH Harris & Sons Inc

255 West Road, Portsmouth, NH,USA


AH Harris & Sons Inc

701 W Delilah Road, Pleasantville, NJ,USA


AH Harris & Sons Inc

6424 E Taft Road, Syracuse, NY,USA


Brock White Construction Materials

818 E 50th St N, Sioux Falls, SD,USA


Brock White Construction Materials

1425 South Ashland Ave., Green Bay, WI,USA


Hard-Cem™ Technical Information



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Hardened Concrete Properties
Floor Abrasion
Roadway Abrasion
Strength: Compressive, flexural
De-Icing Salt Scaling
Freeze Thaw Durability
Plastic Concrete Properties
Water Demand (Drying / Shrinkage)
Setting Time