Kinder, Stronger Concrete
It's not just opaque anymore. Glass fibers can be added to the mix, for fortification and translucency. That's just one of the innovations in the cement-mortar marriage. Another one is Ductal concrete, designed to be 6 to 8 times more resistant to abrasion, pollution and scratching than its conventional cousin. How do engineers do it? Ductal concrete contains metal fibers that make it ductile, or transformable. Those fibers give the tough stuff more give, making it flexible and stronger. Its manufacturer, Lafarge, says Ductal concrete (also known as ultra-high performance, fiber-reinforced concrete) can stand up to bending and breaking far better than traditional concrete because it has 5 to 10 times the compressive strength of conventional concrete, without any added weight.