Rubbery concrete is made to take hits without cracking
Buildings that are constructed with military or civil defense applications in mind need to be tough. It was with this in mind that a new form of concrete was recently developed, that is far more resistant to cracking than regular types.
Developed by scientists from the Military Studies Center at Russia's Far Eastern Federal University, the concrete doesn't simply use pure cement as a binder. Instead, approximately 40 percent of the cement is replaced with a binder made up of rice husk cinder, limestone crushing waste, and silica sand.
This substitution gives slabs of the concrete a somewhat rubber-like quality, allowing them to contract and spring back when subjected to impacts, instead of cracking. In fact, the material is reportedly six to nine times more crack-resistant than regular concrete. Additionally, it self-seals upon being poured, meaning that it could be well-suited to the construction of underground structures such as bunkers.
And as an added bonus, because the new concrete replaces cement with plentiful waste products, it should also be cheaper to use.
"It was important for us that the concrete holds up until the first crack for as long as possible, because after a concrete structure cracks its deterioration is just a matter of time," says the university's Prof. Roman Fediuk. "Today the whole world is working on counter-terrorist security facilities that would defend other structures from a shell hit or a plane crash. We've approached this issue from our own angle and developed an impact-proof material. On the next stage of our work we want to create radiation-resistant concrete."
A paper on the material was recently published in the journal Inorganic Materials: Applied Research.
Source: Far Eastern Federal University via EurekAlert
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