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Researchers develop earthquake-resistant concrete


* Called EDCC, the super-concrete is made from polymer-based fibre, flyash, and other industrial additives

* The material when sprayed in thin 10-millimetre layer was able to withstand a 9-9.1 magnitude earthquake

* The EDCC material will have its first real-life application this fall, to reinforce walls of a Vancouver elementary school


Recent natural disasters like hurricanes in the Caribbean and the earthquake in Mexico have increased the need to have more resilient buildings.Researchers at the University of British Columbia (UBC) have developed a new seismic-resistant and fibre-reinforced concrete that can be sprayed to make the exterior of buildings as strong as Steel and able to withstand disasters.

Bare wall, left; EDCC-reinforced wall, right (Credit: UBC)

Instead of breaking or fracturing, the material – called Eco-friendly Ductile Cementitious Composite (EDCC) – would bend and continue to withstand stresses during an earthquake.

The EDCC is made from polymer-based fibre, flyash, and other industrial additives. The final product is a material that is similar to Steel – durable, malleable and much more ductile than normal concrete.

Sensors were installed on an EDCC-reinforced wall prior to earthquake simulation test (Credit: UBC)

Researchers simulated real earthquakes in order to test the material’s resilience, finding that it was able to withstand intensities as high as 9-9.1 magnitude earthquake that struck Tohoku, Japan in 2011.

EDCC-reinforced wall being inspected for cracks and damage between earthquake simulation tests (Credit: UBC)

“We sprayed a number of walls with a 10 millimetre-thick layer of EDCC, which is sufficient to reinforce most interior walls against seismic shocks,” says UBC Civil engineering PhD candidate, Salman Soleimani-Dashtaki.

“Then we subjected them to Tohoku-level quakes and other types of intensities of earthquakes – we couldn’t break them.’

The EDCC is already available on the market in British Columbia, Canada labelled “an official retrofit option”. The new material will have its first real-life application this fall, to reinforce walls of a Vancouver elementary school.

 

[Featured photo: UBC] 

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Akin A
A MUFC fan with serious love for gadgets and all things tech. Not the movie-loving type, more like the kinda guy you'll see with a PS4 controller. I like good music - any type, as long as it sounds good. Oh and I'm a very picky eater too. Apart from science and tech, I follow all kinda stuff in politics, sports, business and entrepreneurship.

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