Scientist invent new concrete material that can withstand earthquakes.
At the University of British Columbia, researchers have developed a form of concrete that is able to stretch without breaking. This property of the concrete makes it able to withstand the forces produced by earth movements.
Concrete are usually strong under compression and weak under tension, but this new concrete material had its molecular structure altered which in turn gave it the malleability and ductility properties of a metal, allowing it to stretch rather than break when exposed to tensile forces.
According to its inventors the material is called “Eco-friendly Ductile Cementitious Composite”, or EDCC, and it is able to withstand earthquakes having magnitude of 9.1 and above.
A thing to note, is that the material does not form the main structural frame of a building rather it is sprayed as a thin coating of about 10mm thickness.
The ductility of the cement is derived from an addition of plastic fibres, fly ash and other industrial additives. Replacing 70% of the cement with fly ash reduces the amount of carbon dioxide and other green house gases released into the atmosphere when the cement is used. This is why the material is referred to as “Eco-friendly”.
While commenting on this new technology, Minister of education for the province of British Columbia, Melanie Mark said; “This technology has far-reaching impact and could save the lives of not only British Columbians, but citizens throughout the world.”