A new mixture that can dramatically increase the strength and durability of concrete has been developed by W.R. Grace & Co. researchers.
The new concrete mixture, "Force 10,000," was developed by Grace researchers Arnold M. Rosenberg and Paul Scheiner. The name was derived from the product's ability to increase regular concrete's strength from 4,000 or 5,000 pounds a square inch to well over 10,000 pounds a square inch.High-strength concrete will be a boon for architects, engineers and others in the construction and real estate industries, who will be able to use smaller beams and columns in high-rise buildings, thus creating more rentable floor space. It will also allow for much greater design flexibility.
In addition, the reduced permeability of concrete containing Force 10,000 will allow Grace to penetrate new markets, particularly those where resistance to chemical attack is important. These potential markets include parking garages, bridges, and structures near the ocean, which are under attack by both natural and man-made salts. Further, the product's beneficial effect on abrasion resistance will enable it to be used for water treatment facilities, dam spillways, etc.
Development of the product began in 1981, and use in construction projects began this year.
Force 10,000 contains microscopic silica particles which enhance the properties of concrete by filling in the voids between the cement particles and fine and coarse aggregates. Other methods to make high-strength concrete are difficult to control and can result in undesirable side effects. Grace's application involves merely adding Force 10,000 to the concrete at the ready- mix plant.