New Type Of Concrete Helps Prevent Injuries In Explosions, Disasters
Posted: Friday, September 14, 2001
Source: North Carolina State University (http://www.ncsu.edu/)
Most people don't think about the tons of concrete in the buildings and structures around them until disasters strike, such as Tuesday's terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon. But Dr. Neven Krstulovic-Opara thinks about concrete every day.
Krstulovic-Opara, assistant professor of civil engineering at North Carolina State University, has been researching a special system for making concrete that may save lives, buildings and bridges by changing the way concrete structures fail. The system is called high-performance fiber-reinforced concrete (HPFRC), and can be used in new construction or renovations.
It's designed in a way that prevents the separation of large pieces of concrete from the structure. When it fails, the pieces remain stuck together, held in place by the stainless steel fibers. The pieces that do separate from the structure are much smaller and less likely to cause injury.
"We know that concrete structures will eventually fail," said Krstulovic-Opara. "What we want to do is extend the length of time it takes for the structure to fail and control how it fails." MORE