The International Information Center for Structural Engineers

Thursday, 13 December 2018 01:00cat

A material to protect constructions from natural disasters

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3D Cementitious Panel 3D Cementitious Panel

A new 3D cementitious panel is introduced as a material that could protect houses from natural disasters.

The panel is designed to withstand fires, large earthquakes and typhoons. The material consists of two foam surfaces connected with reinforcement wires all enveloped in concrete. 

It is widely used around the world and is now introduced in the U.S.  infrastructure. Even if the technology is not new (Nasa has utilized this material to build spacecrafts due to its high strength), it wasn't popular enough in the U.S. as wood constructions were favored. Geoffrey Evancic, chief operating officer of Hutter Pioneer, a construction company that is working with the 3-D panels, commented: "The reason the product has not been used well in the United Stated to date is because we have wood. The United States is blessed with multiple forests and wood was an inexpensive building material, up until the last five years. With the new energy code, especially up in the northern states, and in California, they want net-zero houses. You cannot get to a net-zero house construction with wood."

The hazard of wildfires in California makes the utilization of the panel crucial. According to reports, the Camp and the Woolsey fires have destroyed more than 8,000 and 500 buildings, respectively. "When comparing the RSG 3-D panel system to conventional housing in terms of just wild fire, wood frame construction is notably fuel for fires," Ken Calligar, CEO of RSG 3-D, the company that's bringing the panel to the U.S. for mass production, stated. "An RSG 3-D panel building will have at least a two-hour fire rating, which means you can apply open flame to the walls for at least two hours with no combustion whatsoever," he added.



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