Researchers Have Invented Earthquake-Resistant Concrete

The material has been engineered at the molecular scale for it to be strong, malleable and ductile just like steel.

Researchers from the University of British Columbia have created a new seismic-resistant, fibre-reinforced concrete. This new concrete will be applied as part of the seismic retrofit of an elementary school at Vancouver.

The researchers called the material eco-friendly ductile cementitious composite (EDCC). The material has been engineered at the molecular scale for it to be strong, malleable and ductile just like steel which is capable of enhancing its resistance to earthquakes of a seismically vulnerable structure when it is applied as a thin coating on the surfaces.

The material was subject to earthquake simulation tests using intensities as high as the magnitude 9.0-9.1 earthquake that struck Tohoku, Japan in the year 2011.

Source: University of British Columbia

“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,” PhD candidate in the department of civil engineering at UBC,  Salman Soleimani-Dashtaki said. “Then we subjected them to Tohoku-level quakes and other types and intensities of earthquakes—and we couldn’t break them.”

EDCC has been added as an official retrofit option British Columbia’s seismic retrofit program. The research teal will be working with contractors in the next few months to upgrade Dr. Annie B. Jamieson Elementary School in Vancouver.

Source: University of British Columbia

According to Advanced Education, Skills and Training Minister Melanie Mark. “This UBC-developed technology has far-reaching impact and could save the lives of not only British Columbians, but citizens throughout the world. The earthquake-resistant concrete is a great example of how applied research at our public universities is developing the next generation of agents of change. The innovation and entrepreneurship being advanced at all of our post-secondary institutions is leading to cutting-edge technologies and helping to create a dynamic, modern B.C. economy that benefits all of us.”

EDCC combines cement with flyash, polymer-based fibers as well as other industrial additives. According to University of British Columbia civil engineering professor Nemy Banthia, who supervised

Source: University of British Columbia

EDCC combines cement with polymer-based fibres, flyash and other industrial additives, making it highly sustainable, according to UBC civil engineering professor Nemy Banthia, who supervised the work. “By replacing nearly 70 per cent of cement with flyash, an industrial byproduct, we can reduce the amount of cement used,” said Banthia. “This is quite an urgent requirement as one tonne of cement production releases almost a tonne of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, and the cement industry produces close to seven per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions.”

EDCC can also be applied in pipelines, pavements, blast-resistant structures, as well as industrial floors.

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  1. The major concern with this is that “flyash” (Seems to be misspelled here in the article at least twice. Should be “fly ash”.) is the world’s largest industrial pollutant. This seems to be more of an attempt to rid the world of its largest form of high-volume chemical pollution by making it a part of the work and living environment for people, assuming they use it for home and work construction. Doesn’t sound like a safe proposal.

Researchers Have Invented Earthquake-Resistant Concrete

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