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New generation fire resistant concrete columns to boost Australia’s construction industry

New generation fire resistant concrete columns to boost Australia’s construction industry

Photo: Improvement to the concrete used in construction can result in cost savings and improved structural integrity.

A research team, led by ARC Future Fellow Professor Zhong Tao at Western Sydney University, has received ARC Linkage Projects scheme funding to develop a new kind of concrete that will reduce the need for steel reinforcement within concrete-filled steel tubular (CFST) columns. CFST columns are commonly used structural components of large constructions, such as tall buildings and multi-story car parks, and require a large amount of internal reinforcement to maintain their structural integrity under fire attack.

The new technology uses a fire-resistant concrete developed by the industry partner, Nu-Rock Technology Pty Ltd, which is based on fly ash—a waste byproduct of coal power stations. By using this material, construction time can be significantly reduced, and costs driven down by doing away with the need for internal steel reinforcement all together.  This opens up new potential uses for the columns and is more environmentally sustainable too.

Professor Tao has studied the behaviour and design of concrete-filled stainless steel tubular columns in detail. His research is leading to advances in environmental sustainability and boosting the international competitiveness of the Australian construction industry.

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