Seismic Cement: Economical Earthquake Retrofitting

According to Vancouver’s, University of British Columbia researchers have developed a type of earthquake-resistant concrete that enables builders to quake proof really cheaply by sprayed them with a 10 millimeter thick (a little over 1/4 inch) coating of seismic concrete. Preliminary tests reveal that eco-friendly ductile cementitious composite (EDCC) is strong enough to protect vulnerable buildings against seismic shocks as strong as the magnitude 9.0 earthquake that hit Tohoku, Japan, in 2011.

EDCC is described as a mixture of “cement with polymer-based fibres, flyash and other industrial additives, making it highly sustainable”.

According to UBC researchers, by replacing nearly 70 per cent of the cement in the concrete, with flyash,* it’s possible to greatly reduce the amount of carbon emissions released. Typically the production of one ton of cement releases almost a ton of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

This new technology will be a great boon in earthquake prone New Zealand – where many communities are tearing down historic brick and stone buildings because conventional earthquake retrofitting is so expensive.


*Flyash is a byproduct from burning pulverized coal in electric power generating plant.

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