Does an Earthquake-Proof Concrete exist?
Researchers at the University of British Columbia (UBC) have developed eco-friendly ductile cementitious composite (EDCC), a fiber-reinforced concrete that can tolerate strong seismic activity. According to a university press release, the manufactured substance blends “cement with polymer-based fibers, fly ash, and other industrial additives.”
Existing internal walls can be reinforced with a 10-millimeter-thick (0.4-inch) layer of EDCC. This can resist quakes of up to 9.0 magnitude. The product not only improves the durability of structures, but it also contributes to environmental sustainability by using fly ash, a byproduct of coal combustion.
The EDCC uses the waste material to replace 70% of the cement used in concrete production. “One ton of cement manufacturing emits almost a ton of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, and the cement sector produces close to 7% of global greenhouse gas emissions,” says Nemy Banthia, a UBC civil engineering professor. The use of fly ash will reduce the cement industry’s negative environmental impact.
In the fall of 2017, the EDCC was put to the test in its first real-world implementation at Vancouver’s Dr. Annie B. Jamieson Elementary School. Industrial flooring, robust housing, sidewalks, and blast-resistant constructions are all possible future applications for this product.
Melanie Mark, the minister of advanced education, skills and training in Vancouver-Mount Pleasant, said, “This UBC-developed technology has far-reaching implications and might save the lives of not only British Columbians, but residents across the world.” “Earthquake-resistant concrete is an excellent illustration of how applied research at our public universities is cultivating the next generation of change agents.”
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