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Ductal UHPC concrete
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Ductal UHPC concrete
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Ductal | UHPC | Modern day marble

Ductal ™ is an Ultra-High Performance Fibre Reinforced Concrete technology that offers superior strength, durability, ductility and aesthetic design flexibility. By utilizing it’s unique combination of properties, designers can create thinner sections and longer spans that are lighter, more graceful and innovative in geometry and form, while providing improved durability and impermeability agains corrosion, abrasion and impact.

Surface quality

The lack of large aggregates in Ductal means that it doesn't have a busy appearance. The natural colour of ductal is off white to light grey depending on which formula is utilized. With the addition of titanium dioxide, a nearly pure white concrete can be achieved. Pigments are added during mixing, resulting in integral colour that is consistent throughout the matrix. Ductal is said to have "chameleon" like qualities, meaning it can take on nearly any colour or aesthetic.

Geometry and form

Extremely thin, complex architectural forms with incredible cantilever are possible with Ductal. Sophisticated shapes with sharp corners, perforations and embedments are standard fare when considering designs with UHPC. Smaller items like pulls, handles and mechanical parts, once only cast in aluminum and resins, can now be cast with UHPC. Think outside the box, many products are waiting to be designed with this unique material.

Texture

Any surface texture can be replicated in ductal. 3d scanning, digital imaging and advanced molding techniques allow designers to create complex surface texture on any shapes. Post production texturing techniques such as polishing, sandblasting and staining can also create stunning effects.

Structural nature

With compressive strengths up to 30,000 psi and flexural strengths up to 6,000 psi, Ductal allows for solutions to be designed with smaller elements, without the use of passive reinforcing steel and, in most applications, without prestressed or post-tensioned reinforcement.

Material properties

One of the essential qualities of Ductal® is its durability. When compared to traditional concrete, this ultra-high performance concrete offers a superior capacity to resist aging and aggressive environments. One of the reasons for this is its denser matrix which is free of defects at the macro and micro level, allowing it to resist the forces of nature far longer that other technologies. The ductility behaviour observed during bending is characterized by a multiple cracks before the stress peaks, without localization and without the presence of any major cracks. Its capacity to resist impact and abrasion (comparable to that of materials such as granite) make it last even longer. As a benchmark, tests have shown Ductal® to be 100 times (*to even 1000 times, depending on the criteria) more durable than a traditional concrete.

Compressive strength

Flexural strength

Porosity

Self healing

Ductal® exhibits excellent performance in compressions: It is 4 to 8 times higher than conventional concretes.
Ductal® contains 2% by volume of fibres, or more than 50 million fibres per cubic meter. The fibres give the material a ductile behaviour during bending (i.e., when loaded in flexure beyond the elastic limit, micro-cracks occur and the fibres hold the cracks tightly closed, providing a ductile performance rather than a sudden or brittle failure).
The ductility behaviour observed during bending is characterized by a multiple cracks before the stress peaks, without localization and without the presence of any major cracks.
Concrete has great compressive strength but poor tensile strength. It is brittle, cracks, and doesn’t flex, which is why it is reinforced with steel—but steel corrosion is a primary source of concrete failure. Lafarge’s Ductal line of specialty ultra-high-performance concretes (UHPC) offers significant improvements in these areas, with a thin, lightweight, extremely durable concrete avoiding standard steel reinforcement.
Ductal®’s extremely low permeability is 1/10th of high quality granite. Therefore, water (the main vehicle of aggressive agents) cannot penetrate the concrete matrix. This characteristic offers excellent resistance not only to the harmful effects of the freeze/thaw cycle, but also to the exposure of sea water (penetration by chlorides), sulfates, weak acids and carbonation.
Ductal®’s reinforcing micro fibers are protected against corrosion and oxidation by its extremely low porosity. More than that, when damaged, Ductal® can “regenerate”: Independent laboratory tests have validated that on a structural level, micro-fissures are automatically resealed over time due to Ductal®’s “self-healing” properties, which uses the humidity in the surrounding air to further hydrate the matrix. Ductal® is therefore able to preserve its initial qualities without lowering its mechanical performance, even in an aggressive environment.

UHPC applications

UHPC performs well in extremely hostile conditions, when durability, low maintenance and high surface quality is needed. Site furnishings, building cladding, and architectural items are a few of the most common applications..

Site Furnishings

Ductal is a game changer when pertaining to Site Furnishings and exterior products. Simply put, it is concrete on steroids. The material’s combination of superior properties facilitates the ability to design thin, complex shapes, curvatures and highly customized textures – applications which are difficult or impossible to achieve with traditional reinforced concrete elements.

Heritage Restoration

Ductal is the perfect material to replace damaged terra cotta and natural stone architectural features. Ornate detail from our most celebrated heritage buildings can be brought back to life once they have deteriorated beyond repair.

Product Design

Szolyd is just only touching the surface as to what is possible with products that were once only considered the realm of cast metal, resins and wood. Door handles, vases, legs for furniture and sculptural items are just a few of the possibilities..

Public Art

Public art is an essential part of shared spaces, creating visual interest and offering public engagement. It can cause controversy and stir conversation. It can showcase innovation and inspire design.

Public art needs to be safe, engineered to accommodate people’s innate need to physically experience the structure.

Ductal® UHPC concrete is the perfect medium for public art. Although it is the strongest concrete in the world, it can replicate the finest details in texture, shape and form.

Ductal color options

CLICK HERE FOR DUCTAL COLORS

Ductal is produced as either a white or gray powder and can be integrally colored in a wide range of shades. Castings are striking in the visual uniformity of their coloration.

UHPC leader

UHPC (ultra high performance concrete) is creating new thresholds for performance and possibilities within the precast industry. Ductal does not need passive reinforcement, it uses integral organic fiber to create massive flexural strength. This removes previous structural constraints, resulting in thiner profiles, and designs of extraordinary purity. Gone are the limitations of traditional precast techniques and the lacklustre finishes they produce. Bulky, dated surfaces are replaced with mixed materials, embedded fasteners, and bend ply aesthetics. The material is only limited by your imagination.

click here to visit Lafarge ductal site

UHPC for public art

Public art is an essential part of shared spaces, creating visual interest and offering public engagement. It can cause controversy and stir conversation. It can showcase innovation and inspire design. Public art needs to be safe, engineered to accommodate people's innate need to physically experience the structure. Ductal® UHPC concrete is the perfect medium for public art. Although it is the strongest concrete in the world, it can replicate the finest details in texture, shape and form.

Public Art Installations

Ecosomo | UHPC public art at SFU

Ecosomo was designed with Ductal concrete to take advantage of it's material properties including: cantilever, durability, surface quality, shape and repeatability. A series of six modules were designed by Matthew Soules to fit together in multiple combinations extending one full block of the University of Simon Fraser in Vancouver, BC.
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virginia beach ductal concrete

Meccanica | UHPC public art | Vancouver, BC

Substation Pavillion is a UHPC public art installation in Vancouver, BC. It is installed in front of the Meccanica project by Cressey Developments. The modular components are precast using dark grey ductal UHPC concrete. They are formed in a classic board form technique to create a aged concrete appearance for the installation.
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USA UHPC

Topography UHPC

Topography is a UHPC art display installed at the Burnside Gorge Community centre in Victoria, BC. Topography' utilizes cast footprints of community members to assemble a textural relief map of the area serviced by the Burnside Gorge Community Centre. This map blends the natural topography with City zoning demarcations in a process directly involving the public.
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