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Slimconcrete – A Street Furniture Revolution

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Thursday 1st March, 2018

Slimconcrete® is a class of Ultra High Performance Concrete (UHPC) defined by its exceptionally high strength and durability.

Our partner Escofet is the first company to unite formulation, manufacturing and design to create UHPC street furniture products that address the requirements of the architectural and urban design profession.

See the Slimconcrete® products here or contact us to request a material sample.

What is Slimconcrete®?

 

The material was developed in the 1980s for specialized applications that demanded superior strength and corrosion resistance – marine anchors, piers and seismic structures. Over the last three decades, use of UHPC has expanded to applications requiring its high strength in narrow profiles, such as bridge spans and building façades. In these cases, the material’s strength, wear resistance, lighter weight and lower life cycle costs have been the driving determinants.

Slimconcrete® is a new Ultra High Performance Concrete (UHPC) with unlimited potential in the architecture, landscape and product design industries. Slimconcrete’s unique formula and manufacturing process has been developed with Escofet's research partners at the iMat-Construction Technologic Center and the University of Catalonia.  The process and formula yields a UHPC with superior strength, durability and colour saturation that can be cast in a wide variety of shapes and patterns

The Material Slimconcrete® is distinguished by its high matrix density. In partnership with UHPC specialists at the University of Catalonia, Escofet have developed a formulation optimizing the particle size of each material to ensure a densely packed concrete matrix. The tight packing of particles creates stronger chemical bonds and lower water absorption, which yields extremely high compressive, tensile and flexural strength. The resulting material exhibits a beautiful surface with integral pigment that withstands water, salt and corrosive environmental contaminants.

Exceptional Performance & Sustainability Credentials

Slimconcrete’s performance on all fronts is extraordinary. The material has exceptionally high compressive, tensile and flexural strength and durability in a wide range of conditions and climates. The manufacturing process is also extremely efficient, with very little material used in the slender furniture elements. The creation of Slimconcrete® street furniture products involves no heat, yields minimal waste and all elements are fully recyclable to further reduce environmental impact.
 
This  makes Slimconcrete® a true class-leader in concrete performance, especially for street furniture application.

Incredible Durability

Traditional precast concrete and GFRC panels often fail because water and salt (marine and road) are absorbed over time into their porous surface. The water then freezes and cracks the concrete from the inside out. Chloride ions penetrate the matrix and can also eventually break down steel reinforcements. Most GFRC is coated to prevent infiltration of the concrete matrix by water and harmful environmental contaminants.
 
In contrast, Slimconcrete® is so dense and has so few pores that it absorbs almost no water over time, does not expand or contract and does not require a coating to enhance durability. Therefore, it has excellent freeze-thaw performance and is highly resistant to salt. These particular benefits, in addition to Slimconcrete's lack of heat conductivity vs. metallic options, are incredibly important in street furniture planters.
 
This extremely dense material matrix has the added benefit of protecting the pigments and improving UV performance.
Consistent Colour

The colour of Slimconcrete® is integrated throughout the material. By adding pigment to the mix, it’s colour is consistent throughout, unlike many other materials that are colour-coated. A wide range of colours and hues can be achieved and offer rich saturation and colour fastness.  The Escofet pigments have been tested and selected as a result of their UV performance, stability and visual appeal. In addition to the standard colours developed by our designers and engineers, we can create and match a variety of custom colours for increased co-ordination with paving or local stone.

Beautiful Texture

The compact aggregate size of Slimconcrete® allows our designers to stretch their creativity further than shape and form.

By introducing patterned moulds into the manufacturing process, unique shapes can be sculpted into each piece of furniture, as shown above.

Easy Restoration & Cleaning

A life in the public realm can be tough for street furniture. From vandalism to graffiti, Slimconcrete® exceeds other materials as it is simple to restore. The smooth non-porous surface ensures graffiti  is not absorbed and is quickly removed by  pressure washer alone without the need for harmful cleaning solutions.

UHPC Technical Properties

Concrete consistency fluid / liquid, with a minimum cement content 700kg/m3 with organic fibres, inorganic or metal and siliceous aggregates smaller than 1mm. COMPRESSIVE STRENGTH

  • UHPC 90-150 MPA
  • UNE-EN 12390/2001

FLEXION RESISTANCE

  • UHPC 16-35 MPA
  • UNE-EN 12390/2001

ABSORPTION OF WATER

  • UHPC 6.50% without the use of repellents
  • UNE-EN 1339/2004

RESISTANCE TO FROST

  • UHPC 0 Kg/m2 Loss of mass after 28 cycles of freezing / thawing  (with dicing salts)
  • UNE-EN 1339/2004

WEAR RESISTANCE OF FRICTION

  • 18.3 mm UHPC (Average width of the track)
  • UNE-EN 1339/2004

IMPACT RESISTANCE

  • UNE-EN 127748-1/2006

See the Slimconcrete® products here or contact us to request a material sample.

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