Ultra-high performance concrete, or UHPC, is a new class of superior-performing concrete paving material. It is also known as reactive powder concrete, or RPC for short. This version of concrete is strong and ductile, delivering compressive strengths up to 29,000 pounds psi (per square inch), and flexural strengths up to seven thousand psi. It is primarily formulated by combining a list of powders, superplasticizers, organic materials, and more. The most common constituents include varying ratios of water, cement, quartz flour, silica fume, fine silica sand, high-range water reducer, and organic or steel fibers.
When procuring UHPC, you will generally get them in a pre-blended bag of all the above-mentioned materials, excluding the water of course. It is commonly sought-after for its capacity to distort and support flexile and tensile loads, even after its early age cracking phase. These qualities and more make construction applications simpler by eliminating the need of steel reinforcements, and because ultra-high performance concrete has the capacity to nearly self-place or dry cast.
So what makes ultra-high performance concrete so useful and effective? It’s the combination of fine powders (no larger than 600 micrometers per grain) and the induced chemical reaction. As a result, UHPC renders a small, disconnected pore structure with ultimate compactness.
The most common modern-day applications for UHPC include the construction of bridges (bridge girders, decks, piles, etc.), building facades, marine anchors, piers, seismic columns and structures, highway infrastructure, wind turbine towers, reinforcement connectors (bridges, buildings, etc.), and much more.