Andre Fourie

South African-developed concrete tough enough for Trump’s wall

South African company Poynting has developed and patented a tough concrete called HeliCrete, which is suitable to protect valuable assets from criminals. The concrete was developed as part of Poynting’s MagiCube secure concrete container project. The containers are used to fight the scourge of battery theft and base station vandalism in South Africa.

The MagiCube[1] design considers cable access, weather protection, heat dissipation, and protection against theft and vandalism. Poynting’s HeliCrete makes it near impossible for criminals to break and access an enclosure. Andre Fourie, Chairman at Poynting Group, provided a summary of the tests they did on three different types of concrete to demonstrate their strength.

The concrete tests were:

  • 100 MPa with 19 mm rebar spaced 75 mm apart – it took 8 hits with a sledgehammer to destroy the concrete block.
  • 100 MPa with 19 mm rebar spaced 300 mm apart with helices/springs – it took 50 hits with a sledgehammer to destroy the concrete block.
  • 100 MPa geopolymer concrete with metal shavings (HeliCrete solution) – It took 200 hits with a sledgehammer to damage the concrete block.

The geopolymer cement costs the same as normal cement, but sets much faster and is much harder. It proved more resilient than normal concrete, and when combined with the HeliCrete process proved to be up to 20-times more difficult to break. The HeliCrete test block was still intact after 200 blows – and it would take much longer to get into when used as part of an enclosure.

“HeliCrete allows us to make an enclosure with much-reduced dimensions and weight while retaining or improving on its strength,” said Fourie.

Making the HeliCrete solution stronger

Fourie said they used spirals of mild steel metal shavings rather than “springs” (high tensile steel helices) in their HeliCrete tests, and that springs are even better. However, Poynting has not tested springs with the geopolymer cement in block form yet. He said Poynting is already using spring-based 100MPa HeliCrete in their “next generation” products, with excellent results.

The images below show samples of HeliCrete using spiral shavings, before casting and after battering.

Metal shavings before geopolymer cement casting


100MPa geopolymer concrete with metal shavings after 200 hits


Video of concrete testing

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Now read: Poynting’s MagiCube successfully keeps criminals out[2]


  1. ^ The MagiCube (
  2. ^ Poynting’s MagiCube successfully keeps criminals out (

How to create a killer LTE set-up

Andre Fourie, Chairman at Poynting Group, has explained[1] how you can build a killer LTE set-up which provides great speeds, low latency and jitter, and high reliability. Fourie said the solution is costly, but it is effective and provides users with great performance and redundancy. The set-up requires you to combine two LTE routers with two SIMs, preferably from different operators, using a load balancer and external antennas.

“Outdoor antennas give a massive improvement on upload speeds, with good improvement on download speeds,” said Fourie. “Combining two routers, two operators, and two outdoor antennas results in around two-times the download speed and six-times upload speed when compared with the same solution with indoor antennas.” He said pointing the external antennas to base stations in different directions gives the best results.

“The combined solution gives the lowest latency of the two operators. Our best case is interesting because the “slower” speed operator had the best latency, so load balancing gives the best of both worlds,” he said.

Indoor LTE set-up

The indoor set-up consists of two routers, a load balancer, and indoor antennas (which are replaced by outdoor antennas for better performance). Indoor LTE setup

Outdoor LTE set-up

The set-up is based on the above, with the indoor antennas replaced with Poynting’s XPOL-6-10M outdoor antennas[2].



Fourie said the configuration using two operators with two external antennas pointing in different directions gives really “bomb-proof” reliability.

“The weakest link in terms of reliability is likely the load balancing box which could break, but one can still connect to either LTE router directly,” said Fourie.

The table below shows the performance improvements which the different configurations provide.

LTE Test Results
Operator 1 Operator 2 Antenna Latency Jitter Download Upload
Vodacom Stubby 23ms 8ms 24.54Mbps 4.99Mbps
Telkom Stubby 15ms 2ms 18.96Mbps 0.90Mbps
Vodacom Integrated 40ms 1ms 33.96Mbps 6.05Mbps
Telkom Integrated 15ms 2ms 18.25Mbps 0.98Mbps
Vodacom Telkom Integrated 31ms 10ms 43.07Mbps 4.13Mbps
Telkom Poynting Outdoor 15ms 8ms 23.01Mbps 4.81Mbps
Vodacom Poynting Outdoor 32ms 6ms 27.14Mbps 13.02Mbps
Vodacom Telkom Poynting Outdoor (Different Directions) 38ms 0ms 70.40Mbps 23.05Mbps
Vodacom Telkom Poynting Outdoor (Same Direction) 15ms 8ms 47.17Mbps 13.49Mbps
Telkom Telkom Poynting Outdoor (Same Direction) 14ms 11ms 46.00Mbps 9.04Mbps

Now read: How Poynting is beating its international competitors[3]


  1. ^ Andre Fourie, Chairman at Poynting Group, has explained (
  2. ^ Poynting’s XPOL-6-10M outdoor antennas (
  3. ^ How Poynting is beating its international competitors (