What Is UHPC? UHPC is a class of concrete defined by its exceptionally high flexural and compressive strength. UHPC was first developed in the early 1980’s and since then has been used for applications needing exceptional strength and durability like nuclear power plants, thin-profile bridges, structural beams and seawall anchor plates
Less is More UHPC is structurally more comparable to steel than traditional concrete. As a result, 70% less material is needed to achieve the same structural requirements. When used in a facade, UHPC results in a lower overall structural weight, reduced sub-structure, and lower shipping and installation costs.
Material Characteristics UHPC derives its high performance from a carefully calibrated ratio of engineered ingredients and a mixing sequence that packs molecules closely together to create very tight bonds. The high packing density yields excellent flexural, compressive, and impact strength. Because the molecules are so tightly packed, the capillary pores that exist in traditional concrete are eliminated.
Freeze/Thaw Performance Because the molecules are so tightly packed, the capillary pores that exist in traditional concrete are virtually eliminated. Therefore, unlike traditional precast concrete, GFRC and fiber cements, UHPC will not absorb water, crack and degrade in demanding freeze/thaw and marine conditions. In fact, certified laboratory tests of freeze/thaw performance over 66 days of cycling show an average 99% strength retention (97%-102%). By contrast, the highest grade classification of Fiber Cement under ASTMC 1186 requires only 80% strength retention.
Environmental Impact Cement production is the third highest source of CO2 emissions, behind automobiles and coal plants. UHPC represents exciting potential to dramatically reduce the environmental impact of cement production in construction by replacing 4 inches of precast traditional concrete with 5/8” of UHPC while at the same time affording a corresponding reduction in the weight of steel and other structural materials required for the foundation, core and shell of a building.