Bendable concrete comes to North America

Nycon Inc. and Kuraray America Inc. announced the North American introduction of PVA-ECC, a fiber-reinforced composite that is 500 times more resistant to cracking and 40 percent lighter in weight than traditional concrete.

This engineered composite was created by a team of scientists who developed a cement-based design micromechanically engineered to work in concert with high-strength PVA (polyvinyl alcohol) fibers. This matrix of finely tuned particles and tailored fibers allows use of very thin composite sections in structures to accomplish results that previously required thick concrete and reinforcing steel.

PVA-ECC (Engineered Cementitious Composite) is widely used in Japan to lower the cost and weight of high-rise structures, tunnels and bridges. The optimized chemical bond strength of PVA fibers to cement provides a composite with excellent shear resistance against earthquakes. PVA-reinforced cement has been in use in Europe and Japan for 20 years, primarily for as a replacement for asbestos in roofing shingles and wall panels. It is being tested throughout the United States and Canada in a variety of applications.

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