Researchers at Kaunas University of Technology (KTU, Lithuania) have developed unique receipt for ultra-high performance concrete. This material, produced from local and recycled resources, has the same compressive strength but is about half the price of the alternatives presently existing in the market.
The new ultra-high performance concrete’s flexural strength (resistance to bending), denser microstructure, better durability (longer life span), and compressive strength (resistance to crushing) will allow its uses in multiple applications. Owing to unique structure and properties, it can be used instead of steel in very aggressive environments, such as nuclear plants, for architectural purposes, and for machinery.
The Lithuanian-produced concrete for the first time will be used in the production of water and fire resistant Eurograde 3 rated safe, which is being produced by Lithuanian company Seifuva. This will be the first in the world 3 grade safe, with wall thickness as thin as 42 mm. It is intended that the safe will reach the global market in July.
“The qualities of our ultra-high performance concrete, which is used for wall filling, and the metal construction allow for the safe walls to be thinner. This means that the final product is both lighter and cheaper”, says Dr. Vitoldas Vaitkevičius, a researcher at KTU Faculty of Civil Engineering and Architecture Research group for Building materials, structures and construction technologies.
The researchers confess that they came across the exclusive manufacturing formula for the ultra-high performance concrete by coincidence.
“In our field of work, we are constantly trying to use recycled materials. Once we tried to add milled glass into the concrete mixture and were surprised when the compressive strength of the concrete significantly increased”, says Dr. Evaldas Šerelis, who has been working on ultra-high performance concrete research for a number of years.
According to him, the identified alternatives of super strong concrete not only have more cement in their structure but also seldom can be produced from local materials. Ultra-high performance concrete developed at KTU is made completely from locally resourced materials and recycled glass powder. The end product has a very dense structure, which means that it is resistant to water and certain destructive chemicals, such as chloride.
Our ultra-high performance concrete can be produced locally under usual circumstances from local and recycled materials. This results in cheaper production: market price of a cubic meter of our ultra-high performance concrete could be around 200-250 EUR, which is up to two times cheaper than currently known alternatives.
Dr. Evaldas Šerelis
According to KTU researchers, the key advantage of ultra-high performance concrete is the possibility to construct strong, but slender structures. That’s why it is preferred by designers and architects. The application of ultra-high performance concrete is not restricted to the construction industry: KTU formula has already been used for manufacturing concrete handmade home accessories and business gifts.
Concrete Properties Comparison Infographic Image available here: https://infogram.com/concrete-properties-1hnq41q1o33k63z