A new variety of concrete that can significantly bring down the number of deaths occurring during earthquakes, bomb blasts, and other disasters, is being worked upon by Dr. Alan Richardson, one of the UK’s leading experts in the field of sustainable materials. Along with his academic colleagues across universities in China and India, Dr. Richardson is working on the idea of creating a much tougher variety of concrete with the help of the 3-D fibre reinforcement technique rather than the conventional 2-D technique.
Initial trials have demonstrated that the new technique can lead to the development of concrete that is nearly 78% stronger when it comes to facing shock waves. Scientists say that the new variety of cement has much less fragmentation, which means that it would throw out less amounts of material during events such as bomb blasts or an earthquake.
This makes the cement a safer option for applications that require tough infrastructure, such as the ones that are prone to attacks or the ones that witness natural calamities like earthquakes often. Thus the cement would be ideal for structures made for motorway barriers, sea defense, and building and bridges in and around earthquake zones. The increased strength of the concrete would also translate into the less need for concrete, making the construction of visually more appealing and smaller structures a real possibility. From the environmental point of view, this products also translates to less demand for resources.
The team has been examining the usage of 3-D steel fibers for the concrete, nearly of the same size as the 2-D fibers added to conventional concrete but shaped in the form of loop and angled at 90 degree. When these steel fibers are added to the concrete, it has been seen that they bring about a vast increase in the material’s energy absorption capability, thus making them much more effective in terms of holding aggregates together.