High-performance concrete (HPC) is concrete that is designed such that it is more durable than other forms of concrete. HPC mixtures are derived from similar materials to conventional concrete mixtures. The only difference is that the proportions of the properties that are used to make HPC are made with the intention of providing durability and strength for the structures that it is used to make.
High strength in this case basically refers to 8000psi which is equivalent to 55MPa. There are four main characteristics that are associated with HPC durability. They are such as the ability to be scaling, freeze-thaw, and abrasion resistant and it is not susceptible to chloride ion penetration. Check out UHPC by Premier Precast for more.
Properties of High-Performance Concrete
High-Performance concrete is a composition of a couple of materials. We will discuss those materials and their properties in this section.
Cement. The physical and chemical components of cement contribute immensely to the making of High-performance concrete. The most suitable type of cement to be used in High-Performance Concrete is one that is low in C3A. This type of cement is easy to manipulate and work with. It is also a great contribution to the strength of the concrete.
Water. This is the main and the most important property of high-performance concrete. It is basically the component that holds the cement and other materials together to produce good quality and strong concrete.
Fine Aggregate. This is another important component of high-performance concrete. It is recommended to use coarse but fine aggregate as opposed to using fine sand. This is because fine sand will require a lot of water to be used in making high-performance concrete.
Coarse Aggregate. In terms of strength of the High-Performance Concrete, coarse aggregate is the aspect that you are required to focus on. The coarse aggregate literally determines how durable your concrete will be based on how little or how much you integrate into it.
Superplasticizer. This is used as sort of a moderator. The superplasticizer is used to balance the ratio of cement to water. This makes the high-performance concrete retain the required consistency.
Cementitious Materials. These materials are such as silica fume, slag, and fly ash. We will discuss each one and its contributions to high-performance concrete.
Silica fume. This refers to the by-product of the silicon and its alloys during production. Although there are various forms of silica fume, the highly used one is in a denser form. It is packaged when pre-blended with cement. Silica fume can boost the strength of high-performance concrete from 63MPa to about 98MPa.
Slag. The right amount of slag that is required to be used in high-performance concrete is about 15-30 percent of the total amount of concrete produced.
Fly Ash. For a very long time in the construction industry, fly ash has been integrated into high-performance concrete to boost strength. It can be used together with fly ash, and it should be about 15 percent of all cement content.
Features of High-Performance Concrete
Compared to other forms of normal concrete, High-Performance Concrete contains some features that set it apart. There are main features that will be discussed in this section. They are such as durability, strength, and ductility. They are the most important foundational concepts for any construction material.
Strength. High performance is said to be strong if it has a strength of about 50MPa. With more modifications and trials, High-Performance Concrete has been proven to get to a capacity of about 200MPa. This capacity is defined as ultra HPC.
Ductility. when you alter the composition by adding fibers into the mix, then you end up improving its ductility. Concrete that contains fibers is known as Fiber Reinforced Concrete (FRC). High-performance FRC (which is pretty much defined as adding fibers in high-performance concrete), improves the toughness and the consistency of the concrete. The end product is known as ultra-ductile concrete.
Durability. Concrete durability can be described as its ability to permeate water and chemical ions. When concrete is unable to do this, it remains susceptible to problems such as freeze-thaw damage, alkaline-silica reaction, and steel reinforcement. The permeability of concrete is basically what determines its durability.
Application of High-Concrete in Tall Buildings
As with any other form of architectural structure, high-performance concrete is adopted in constructing tall buildings as well. The key features of HPC mentioned above (strength, durability, and ductility), are what make this type of concrete favorable for buildings tall buildings. The High-performance concrete is integrated into beams, slabs, filling in columns, and foundations. There are several case studies that discuss this in great detail.
High Performance Concrete is one of the most common trends in the construction industry. The benefits that it offers and endless possibilities on how to apply this concrete in various structures are reasons enough to try it out.