There has been a great invention in the field of civil by a research-intensive public university, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore) with collaboration with JTC at NTU-JTC Industrial Infrastructure Innovation Centre . They have developed BENDable concrete which is more durable than conventional concrete.
In conventional concrete we use hard materials like cement, sand, aggregate which helps in getting concrete rigid properties – strong, hard but BRITTE. This conventional concrete fails in tension.
This innovation by NTU is superior to the conventional concrete in many terms like strength, durable – long lasting, light weight, flexible i.e. stronger in tension. This helps in reduction in cross section area of structural member. We can create slim precast pavement slabs for quick installation of better quality of roads. This type of road is more sustainable and has less maintenance cost.
The professor of NTU, Mr. Chu Jian said..
This new type of concrete, we have invented, will reduce thickness of pavement slab and special Plug and pin feature for connecting of slabs will facilitate easy replacement of worn slabs with new ones.
Director at JTC, Mr. Koh Chee said,
This innovation will not only help construction industry but also prove to be convenient to the user fro troubles caused due to potholes and resurfacing of road.
HOW DOES IT WORKS?
In conventional concrete, we mix cement, sand and aggregate which makes it hard and strong but brittle. It does not promote flexibility. Brittle implies that it is prone to cracks and failure in tension when excessive load applied.
here comes Conflexpave into the picture. This concrete is specially engineered to have hard materials as well as polymer microfibre. The idea of including synthetic microfibres into the mix is to strengthen concrete in tension and also enhances skid resistanc
The key to this innovation is to study this concrete at microscopic level and to understand how components interact with each other.
Prof Yang who leads the research team told..
With detailed understanding, we can then deliberately select ingredients and engineer the tailoring of components, so our final material can fulfill specific requirements needed for road and pavement applications.
Explaining the mechanism he told
The hard materials give a non-slip surface texture while the microfibres which are thinner than the width of a human hair, distribute the load across the whole slab, resulting in a concrete that is tough as metal and at least twice as strong as conventional concrete under bending.
ConFlexPave has been successfully tested as tablet-sized slabs at NTU laboratories. It will be scaled up for further testing over the next three years in partnership with JTC – at suitable locations within JTC’s industrial estates and in NTU where there will be human and vehicular traffic.