U.S. scientists have developed a new concrete mix that has demonstrated high early strength just within six hours of mixing.
Made of fiber reinforcements such as steel, glass and carbon, this mix – created by Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) and Tennessee University scientists – could potentially double up the production capacity for the precast concrete industry.
The ORNL-Tennessee collaboration also includes Chicago-based Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute.
No doubt, quick performing concrete shortens manufacturing time for prefabricated assemblies such as walls, beams and floor slabs.
However, early-strength mixes have short setting times and require specific curing methods.
The ORNL and Tennessee team have now managed to overcome this by developing a self-compacting mix that not only showed early strength but also maintained its workability for 30 minutes.
“We followed a practical, cost-effective process easily implemented with typical mixing procedures,” says ORNL’s Diana Hun. “This could enable precast plants to cast twice per day.”
The scientists will continue working on decreasing the amount of carbon embodied in the mix so as to make it more greener.
Image and content: ORNL