New bomb-proof concrete mixture used in One World Trade Center

The new concrete mix deforms instead of breaking, removing the threat of flying debris in an explosive attack. 

Photo credit: Khalid Mahmood, Wikimedia Commons.
August 05, 2014

A new mixture of concrete has been developed to decrease the damage done in bomb attacks. This mix was used in the construction of the One World Trade Center in Lower Manhattan, Science Daily reports.

The danger posed by explosions to buildings is mainly in the debris that comes loose and goes flying. Traditional concrete is brittle, meaning that an explosive force can easily tear off chunks and fling them into the air.

This new concrete mix, developed by Dr. Stephan Hauser, Managing Director of Ducon Europe GmbH & CoKG, actually deforms instead of breaking. Very hard high-performance concrete is combined with finely-meshed reinforced steel, and when a certain threshold of pressure is exerted on the concrete, the steel ruptures and the shock is distributed uniformly throughout the concrete. 

A new computational formula is what makes this possible. Researchers have developed a universal formula which allows them to rapidly compute the required thickness of the concrete for each specific application.

This formula was used in the application of the concrete to the One World Trade Center. The tower rests on a 20-story, bombproof foundation, and has "safety concrete" at vulnerable points, according to Science Daily.

         
 

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