Concrete is being used in completely new ways as demonstrated in a ground-breaking material technology called Concrete Cloth. The material consists of cement layered between fabric that can bond with water, backed by PVC. Concrete Cloth can be formed into nearly any shape. Once it absorbs water, it remains workable for two hours and hardens to 80% strength in just 24 hours. There is no need for mixing or measuring as the concrete is premixed and cannot be overhydrated. The material will even set underwater and in sea water.
Based in the UK, Concrete Canvas is the company who developed the material as part of its award-winning Concrete Canvas Shelters, a building in a bag that requires only water and air for construction. Their hope is that it will have applications in disaster relief, military and commercial environments.
Concrete Cloth is waterproof once it is formed and fire proof. It can take the shape of complex surfaces and can easily be cut or manipulated using basic handtools before setting. Its fiber reinforcement prevents cracking, and absorbs energy from impacts. It is chemically resistant and is not susceptible to UV rays harmful effects.
It can be used in a variety of ways including roofing, ditch lining, pipe protection, slope protection, water tanks, tunnel lining, retaining walls, erosion control, building cladding, and more.
The cement-impregnated fabric was recently awarded Material of the Year 2009 by materials consultancy Material ConneXion.
For more information about this unique material, visit Concrete Canvas.