Concrete Canvases – Force Testing the Durability of Synthetic, Cement-Like Composites

Concrete Canvas Ltd. utilizes innovative materials technology in its Concrete Canvas® GCCM product, which is actually concrete on a roll. This unique development has won a number of awards for innovation and design excellence, by combining concrete and fabric in such a way as to be flexible and easy to manipulate until hydrated, after which it hardens to create a durable and fire-resistant layer.

One application of the Concrete Canvas® GCCM product is providing a concrete shelter within 24 hours, using only two people without the need for training. The material can be installed up to 10 times faster than conventional concrete and offers a 95% material saving, which translates to a typical 60% cost saving.

The material itself is made up of a 3-dimensional fiber matrix comprising of a specially formulated dry concrete mix. Once set, the fibers reinforce the concrete, eliminating crack propagation and providing a safe plastic failure mode.

Other applications include slope protection, bund lining, ditch and pit lining, and other safety-critical solutions in the construction and erosion control industries, all of which demand reliable quality testing to ensure the strength of the material.

Deployed Concrete Canvas shelter

Deployed Concrete Canvas shelter

The Solution

A Mecmesin MultiTest 2.5-i computer-controlled test system was equipped with a 2.5 kN 3-point bend jig and quick change (QC) adapters. An optional bellows prevents ingress of fiber debris and dust that may be released by the composite sample. The standard test specimen used is a prism-shaped section of the Concrete Canvas® material.

The fixture can accommodate the range of thicknesses available for the material. The graduated scale on the support beam guarantees accurate sample location for central loading, and rollers on the anvils reduce frictional forces.

The test procedure is controlled by Emperor™ Force software, and involves the application of compression to achieve a deflection of 30 mm in a consistent and repeatable 3-point bend test. The ultimate force is determined, in accordance with international test standard BS EN 12467 for fiber-cement flat sheets.

For the company's R&D purposes and internal quality standards, other measurements, such as the force at first crack propagation, are logged in order to validate the desired strength and durability characteristics for all variants.

Sample undergoing flexure testing

Sample undergoing flexure testing

The System

  • MultiTest 2.5-i computer-controlled test system, with bellows
  • 2.5 kN 3-point bend jig with quick change (QC) adapters
  • ILC-S 2.5 kN intelligent loadcell

Testimonial

Upgrading our standard test method with a Mecmesin-i tester was one of the best decisions we made recently. Not only did the new testing machine allow us to utilize the replaced equipment for other projects, but it also improved the reliability of the test, and the reproducibility of test results. Mecmesin’s sales team provided us with all the information needed to make the decision to buy the right testing machine.

Marcin Kujawski, Research and Quality Manager, Concrete Canvas Ltd.

This information has been sourced, reviewed and adapted from materials provided by Mecmesin Limited.

For more information on this source, please visit Mecmesin Limited.

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