NTU-JTC scientists have developed flexible concrete that is stronger and more durable than normal
Scientists at the Center for Industrial and Infrastructure Innovations (IіC) NTU-JTC at Nanyang University of Technology (NTU Singapore) invented a new type of concrete, which was called ConFlexPave. This concrete bends, while it is stronger and more durable than the usual, having a large weight, brittle and breaking under tension.
The introduction of innovative development allows for the production of thin reinforced concrete road plates for quick installation and to halve the time required for laying the road surface. In addition, this concrete is more resistant to stress and requires less maintenance.
NTU Professor Chu Jian, Acting Director of NTU-JTC IіC, said: “We have developed a new type of concrete, which can significantly reduce the thickness and weight of finished road slabs, which will allow them to be laid faster. New concrete slabs manufactured at the factory can easily be replaced with worn ones. ”
Flexible ConFlexPave Concrete
Mr. Koh Chvi, Director of JTC Technical Services Division and Co-Director of NTU-JTC IІC, said that the invention of this promising technology will not only allow builders to reduce the number of labor-intensive operations at the facility, increase occupational safety and reduce construction time, but will be beneficial for users roads, because it minimizes the inconvenience associated with the replacement of pavement and related work.
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“By collaborating with universities such as NTU, in research and in the development of advanced technologies, JTC hopes to become a leader in innovation for industrial infrastructure and help address the challenges facing Singapore and its companies, including labor and resource shortages. We will continue to open new buildings and test facilities and, if successful, will implement the best solutions in production, ”Mr. Koch added.
Standard concrete consists of water, gravel and sand. Since it is this mixture that makes concrete hard and durable, it does not contribute to its flexibility. Therefore, concrete is brittle and cracks under the influence of a large weight. The ConfFlexPave was specially developed as a combination of certain hard materials with polymer microfibers.The inclusion of these special synthetic fibers not only allows concrete to bend, but also increases its resistance to abrasion.
“A fundamental breakthrough was the understanding of how the components of materials interact with each other mechanically, at the microscopic level,” said Assistant Professor Yan En-Hua from the NTU School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, who heads the research at NTU-JTC IіC.
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“Having achieved a complete presentation of the details, we will be able to purposefully select the ingredients and composition so that the resulting material meets the specific requirements for road paving and use on the roads,” explained prof. Jan. “Solid materials provide a non-slip surface, whereas microfibers, which are thinner than a human hair, distribute the load across the entire slab. Thanks to this, our concrete achieves the strength of metal and becomes at least twice as resistant to bending than traditional concrete, ”he added. The ConFlexPave was successfully tested in NTU laboratories in the form of a tile the size of a tablet.Over the next three years, the plates will be enlarged and tested in conjunction with JTC - in suitable places on the JTC territories, as well as in the NTU, in actual conditions of pedestrian and vehicle traffic.