Taiwan develops new concrete for high-rise buildings

04/23/2019 10:14 PM
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Photo for illustrative purposes only / CNA file photo
Photo for illustrative purposes only / CNA file photo

Taipei, April 23 (CNA) Taiwan's National Center for Research on Earthquake Engineering (NCREE) has successfully developed a new type of composite reinforced concrete (RC) that is up to 2.4 times stronger than traditional RC and allows the height of residential buildings to be doubled.

Lin Ker-chun (林克強), a research fellow at the institute, introduced the new RC to the press Tuesday, noting that Taiwan is the second country in the world to develop high-strength RC, following Japan.

Earthquake-prone Japan has built a 59-floor apartment building using the new type of RC, said Lin, explaining that the material is a versatile composite widely used in modern construction thanks to its many qualities, including sound and fire insulation, along with low cost.

Most residential buildings in Taiwan are constructed using older-style RC, but because such structures are relatively low in strength and require large support columns and pillars, it can only be used for the construction of buildings of up to 27 floors, according to Lin.

Although steel construction makes it possible to build higher buildings, its soundproofing ability is inadequate for residential homes, Lin said.

Japan constructed the world's first 59-floor apartment building using the high-strength RC material in 2009, Lin said, noting that Taiwan began efforts that same year to develop its own high-strength RC.

After a decade of work, he went on, the NCREE developed quality-verified rebar and concrete 1.6 times and 2.4 times stronger than traditional materials, respectively.

Lin also said that the new form of RC uses new materials and a precast method that allows the fabrication of columns and pillars at the factory before they are shipped and assembled at the construction site, which reduces the construction time.

In terms of earthquake resistance, he said the new RC performs better than traditional RC when the pillars are at the same size.

"The new RC technique application can lower the demand for construction land in a city, increase public and green space and effectively improve quality of living," Lin said.

(By Liu Lee-jung and Elizabeth Hsu)


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