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Back Scientists develop exciting new bendable concrete from waste

Scientists have developed a new type of bendable concrete that could be used for construction in areas prone to earthquakes as it’s better able to withstand the tremors.

Bendy concrete made from industrial waste

As well as improving the safety of those in earthquake struck places, the bendable concrete, which has been developed by a team of scientists from Swinburne University in Melbourne, Australia, is made from industrial waste. The innovative composition doesn’t rely on cement to bind the different elements together but uses a special mix that incorporates industrial waste such as fly ash, a by-product of coal-fired power stations. Short polymeric fibres are another key ingredient that allow the new type of concrete to sustain a number of hairline cracks and not break under pressure. 

A more eco-friendly concrete alternative

What makes this such an exciting development is that producing the new bendy concrete uses less energy and produces less carbon dioxide than conventional cement-based concrete. Dr Behzad Nematollahi of Swinburne University, one of the two researches who hold a patent on the process, explains: “Production of this novel concrete requires about 36% less energy and emits up to 76% less carbon dioxide as compared to conventional bendable concrete made of cement.”

Applications for earthquake prone areas

One of the main reasons traditional concrete is the most used construction material in the world is because it is so incredibly strong. However, when put under exceptional stretching or bending pressure – like those of an earthquake where a whole building moves to and fro – it can sometimes fail. So, in areas that are at risk of experiencing severe movement, constructing buildings from a more pliable material means they are more likely to remain intact. It can also be applied to buildings in areas hit by hurricanes, blasts and other impacts.

While this new bendable concrete isn’t totally destruction proof, it’s perfectly capable of withstanding extraordinary forces that could cause ordinary concrete to break. In fact, the Australian scientists’ new type of concrete is about 400 times more bendable than normal concrete but still boasts similar strength.

Nationwide Concreting is a leading industrial concrete floor finishing specialist and has worked in the industry for over 40 years with a range of clients. If you’d like to learn more about the different types of concrete floor finishes, get in touch with us today on 01590 676585.

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