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Titel Convergence of Advanced Material and Core Design Technology Gives Birth to SUPER Concrete
Manage Structural Engineering Research Instiute Date 2017.02.15 Hit 1,201
 
 
 
 
"Ultra-high-strength, high-performance, high-quality SUPER Concrete to lead the global construction market"
 

 

Project Leader: Kim Byung-suk (Senior Research Fellow, bskim@kict.re.kr)

 

 

It is often for economical reasons that social overhead capital (SOC) facilities are usually built with concrete. The average lifespan of the concrete bridges in South Korea is relatively shorter than that in advanced countries.
To obtain price competitiveness in the global construction market and to build concrete facilities while reducing the national budget for such, it is necessary to develop an innovative concrete material and structural application technology.
 
The SUPER Concrete developed in this research offers a long service life and high compressive strength and is relatively inexpensive to use. Moreover, its technical excellence has been recognized as it is currently already being used in the U.S. and in Myanmar as well as in the domestic construction market.
 


Ultra-high-performance concrete to emerge as a new growth engine

 

As opposed to the gradual decline of the national budget for SOC in South Korea, the construction markets in the developing countries, including those in Southeast Asia and the Middle East, are on the rise. To overcome the slump in the domestic construction market and to increase the overseas orders, it is important for South Korea to acquire technical competitiveness, which will enable it to lead the global market. While South Korea’s foreign construction orders have grown from USD59.1 billion in 2011 to USD64.9 billion in 2012, USD65.2 billion in 2013, USD66 billion in 2014, USD46.1 billion in 2015, and USD15.2 billion as of June 2016, 80% of the orders are focused on plants, and the net profit margin is poor.

South Korea’s SOC technology is 80% of that of the advanced countries’ 1), and the global market share in engineering, a high-value market, was merely 1.9% in 2011. Ultra-high-performance concrete (UHPC) 2), often called “the golden key,” is a technology that can help the country’s construction industry overcome its current crisis. Amid the growing expectations on the quality, performance, and service life of SOC facilities, advanced countries like France, Germany, Japan, and USA recognize UHPC materials and application technologies for buildings as a future growth engine, sparing no expense to support related researches. South Korea has already acquired the global-leading technology in UHPC, and many of its related technologies are being used worldwide, but the related standards and regulations still have to be modified to meet the international standards. If advanced materials and key design, manufacturing, and construction technologies will be developed, and if the related standards that conform to the global standards will be established, the country’s UHPC technology will become a new growth engine that will lead to overseas construction orders.
 
 
 

Development of SUPER Concrete manufacturing technology and structural design guidelines, onsite application to domestic bridge construction projects

 

Aiming to develop the world’s best concrete structure construction technology, the research team first developed an ultra-high-performance concrete manufacturing technology, which includes UHPC, material models, and guidelines. As a result, we developed performance-tailored SUPER Concrete with a compressive strength of 80-180 MPa, which could achieve 20-50% manufacturing cost savings and could improve the service life by 100%.
Currently, the prototype mixes of SUPER Concrete (SC80, SC100, SC120, SC120f, SC150f, and SC180f) have all been completed, and members are being manufactured. SC180f, among others, are already being used in construction projects. The developed technology was applied in July 2015 to the entry bridge to Legoland in Chuncheon, Gangwon-do, which is expected to be completed in 2017. This bridge will be recorded as the world’s first UHPC road cable-stayed bridge.

In October 2015, the successful bidding of the aged bridge exchange project in Iowa, USA led to the construction of Hawkeye UHPC Bridge, which marked the first application of the South Korean technology to the U.S. market.
Also in the same period, a UHPC-applied bridge was constructed in Myanmar in the expansion construction zone between Yangon and Mandalay.
 

 

river1 river2
▲ Areal view of the UHPC road cable-stayed entry bridge to Legoland, Chuncheon
river3 river4
▲ Hawkeye UHPC Bridge in Buchanan County, Iowa, USA Highway bridge in Myanmar

 


The currently developed structural design guidelines for SC120f, SC150f, and SC180f can be used by private designers and construction companies. In particular, the structural design guideline for SC180f is written in English and was used in the construction of Hawkeye UHPC Bridge in Buchanan County, Iowa, USA, and or the highway bridge in Myanmar. The prototype mix of SUPER Concrete is very economical, incurring only 50-80% of the typical domestic and overseas manufacturing costs. It has been shown that compared to the use of the normal concrete, the use of SC80 to SC100 in a 200-800m cable-stayed bridge can reduce the superstructure construction costs by up to 16%, and the total construction costs by 10%.

In case of a 150m freecasat wind turbine tower, the application of SC80 can reduce the construction costs for the steel-reinforced tower by up to 77%, and the application of SC100 to a landing stage can reduce the generic concrete construction costs by up to 18%, and the construction costs for the structural components by about 10%. The research currently being conducted by the research team is focused on the development and the improvement of the economic value of the structural system for 1000m cable-stayed bridges, and on the commercialization of SUPER Concrete technologies by developing onsite application technologies, among others.
 
 

KICT’s technology is recognized by the USA and Myanmar based on the successful orders from such countries.
 
 
With this research, KICT developed the word’s best 80-180MPA-class concrete materials and structural technologies based on which the institute plans to create exemplary cases of the successful advancement of the technology into foreign markets by combining the design, construction, maintenance, and project management technologies into one package solution. In addition, based on the outcomes of the entry bridge to Legoland in Chuncheon, KICT aims to help a domestic construction company win overseas contracts for longspan bridges and acquire the status of a global leader by creating an international-level guideline. The high durability of SUPER Concrete can increase the lifespan of key structural members by 100%, reduce the structure weight by over 30%, and reduce the construction costs by 10% and the carbon emissions by over 30%.
 
The aforementioned research outcomes won a technical award from Korea Concrete Institute in 2015, and the research team was invited to give a key presentation to the International Association for Bridge and Structural Engineering and the 1st Asian Concrete Federation, and at the 1st International Conference on UHPC Materials and Structures, demonstrating the technical advancement of KICT’s SUPER Concrete technology. Furthermore, the developed technologies are being further commercialized as these are being applied in the construction of a bridge in Han River (2nd Gyeongbu Expressway) and of a DMZ-crossing bridge (The Bridge of Peace).
 
 
 
  river5
▲ DMZ-crossing bridge (The Bridge of Peace)

 


 

 

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