Will Future Homes Withstand Earthquakes?

October 17, 2017

University of British Columbia researchers say they’ve created a type of concrete that can withstand a powerful 9.0 magnitude earthquake.

The fiber-reinforced concrete is called “eco-friendly ductile cementitious composite.” About a 0.4 inch layer of EDCC can reinforce existing interior walls to withstand high seismic activity, researchers say.

“We sprayed a number of walls with a 10 millimeter-thick layer of EDCC, which is sufficient to reinforce most interior walls against seismic shocks,” says Salman Soleimani-Dashtaki, a Ph.D. candidate in the department of civil engineering at UBC. “Then we subjected them to Tohoku-level quakes and other types and intensities of earthquakes—and we couldn’t break them.”

The product could not only make buildings more durable but also get attention for its sustainability. EDCC substitutes 70 percent of the cement used in concrete with a byproduct material.

“One ton of cement production releases almost a ton of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, and the cement industry produces close to seven percent of global greenhouse gas emissions,” says Nemy Banthia, a UBC civil engineering professor.

The product will be tested at an elementary school in Vancouver, Canada. Researchers foresee future applications of it within industrial flooring, resilient homes, sidewalks, and blast-resistant structures.


Source: “Earthquake-Resistant Concrete Put to the Test,” Architect (Oct. 12, 2017) and The University of British Columbia