If you’ve been following our blog for a while, you already know that there are many different types and variations of concrete. You also know cement and concrete are not the same thing. Today we dive into another subset of concrete: the ultra-high performance variety. 

Ultra-high performance concrete, otherwise known as UHPC, was recently developed for its improved durability and strength over other concrete. It was created by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in the 1980s and made available commercially several years later. 

UHPC was first used in North America construction projects in 1997, comprising a pedestrian bridge in Canada. Following construction of the bridge, it was heavily researched by various institutions in order to make UHPC more economically feasible and widely available for use. Use of the material in the United States began in 1997. There are now bridges all over the world made of UHPC. For more history of concrete, be sure to check out this blog.

What makes this type of concrete so much better than the concrete in use all the time? Well, UHPC concrete has a compressive strength 10 times that of its predecessor, meaning it can carry a much heavier load without bending, making it perfect for bridges. It’s tensile strength is also much higher than that of traditional concrete, which means the material is much stronger when pulled. 

UHPC is also highly sought after for its durability in road and bridge construction, and those benefits pay off even more in winter climates. Testing has shown that UHPC has properties similar to that of hard rock, showing impressive resilience to abrasion, freezing/thawing and chloride permeability. 

Use of UHPC in construction projects is good for workers too, as it is easier to work with and reduces the time needed for construction. The benefits continue for users later on, as projects constructed with UHPC have fewer maintenance needs, lower downtime and an extended lifespan.

To find out how you can use UHPC in your next construction project, call us today