Applications and opportunities of ultra-high-performance fibre-reinforced concrete

State of development and practical examples

The term UHPFRC (ultra-high-performance concrete) was first used in 1994 to refer to a material with optimized particle packing, made with a special selection of fine and ultrafine particles that result in low porosity, high durability and self-compactability. It is a cement-based material with a minimum specified compressive strength of 130 MPa with specified durability, tensile ductility and toughness requirements. Fibers are generally included in the mix to achieve specified requirements. UHPFRC construction is simplified by generally eliminating/reducing the need for reinforcing steel and by the material’s high flow characteristics that make it self-compacting. The UHPFRC matrix is very dense and has low porosity and low pore connectivity, which results in low permeability, reduced penetration of adverse chemicals and superior durability characteristics. The combination of superior properties and design flexibility supports architects and engineers in creating attractive, curved façade shapes or panels with large spans. Overall, this material offers solutions with advantages such as speed of construction, improved aesthetics, superior durability and waterproofing, as well as protection against corrosion, abrasion and impact, which translates to reduced maintenance and a longer life span for the structure.

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