Fri, Apr 26, 2019 - Page 4 News List

Center introduces stronger RC for residential buildings

Staff writer, with CNA

The National Center for Research on Earthquake Engineering has developed a new type of composite reinforced concrete (RC) that is up to 2.4 times stronger than conventional RC and could be used to double the height of residential buildings.

Center research fellow Lin Ker-chun (林克強) on Tuesday introduced the material to reporters, saying that Taiwan is the second nation to develop high-strength RC after Japan, which in 2009 built a 59-floor apartment building using the material.

RC is a versatile and cheap composite widely used in modern construction thanks to its many qualities, including sound and fire insulation, Lin said.

Most residential buildings in Taiwan are constructed using conventional RC, but because such structures are relatively weak, and require large support columns and pillars, RC can only be used to build structures of up to 27 floors, Lin said.

Although steel makes it possible to build taller buildings, RC’s soundproofing is inadequate for residential purposes, Lin said.

Taiwan began developing its own high-strength RC the same year that Japan completed its first structure built with the material.

After a decade, the center developed quality-verified rebar 1.6 times stronger and concrete 2.4 times stronger than conventional materials, he said.

The new form of RC uses materials and a precast method that allow the columns and pillars to be fabricated at a factory before they are shipped and assembled at the construction site, reducing construction time, Lin said.

In terms of earthquake resistance, the new material performs better than conventional RC when the pillars are the same size, he added.

“The new RC technique can lower the demand for construction land in a city, increase public and green space, and improve quality of living,” Lin said.

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