Flexiroc creates sprayable rubberised concrete for blast protection as tests are showing promising results in this Australian first.
Spray Blastproof Concrete with Tyre Rubber Content
“A complete success”. Those words were uttered by Gary Bullock just after sprayed Protectiflex walls were hit with shock loadings similar to a car bomb explosion from a distance of 20 metres.
The Flexiroc Australia managing director had talked up Protectiflex before the product was tested at Australia’s only national blast simulation facility, at the University of Wollongong.
The spray-on concrete that is blast, ballistic and fire-resistant, combines recycled crumbed rubber from old tyres with composite fibres in a cementitious mix design.
“We were confident these tests would prove the spray-on composite creates blast-resistant walls,” he said.
Once the first test was over, Mr Bullock was grinning from ear to ear.
“It’s an absolute success. There’s only a small crack in the wall, and it has only moved 12 millimetres,” he said.
Up till now, Protectiflex walls have been used in either cast-in-place or precast construction methods.
The spray-on application can be applied to both new and existing walls and buildings to develop or enhance their blast, ballistic and fire-resistance ratings.
Professor Alex Remennikov from the UOW’s Faculty of Engineering shared Mr Bullock’s excitement.
“This is the first time in the world this protective solution has been tested,” Prof Remennikov said.
“It is developed in Australia. It is being tested in Australia, and it will be first in the world application for protecting Australian infrastructure from possible terrorist attacks.”
He added the ProtectiFlex blast tests demonstrated how spray-on retrofit could add strength and stiffness to concrete masonry walls, protecting occupants behind it from the blast loads.
“Masonry walls are a common building component that is vulnerable to blast loads created by terrorist attacks or accidental explosions,” Prof Remennikov said.
“Although today’s experiment involves testing how the spray-on product handles blasts, we hope to conduct further studies in the future, proving it performs just as well in fire, ballistic and weapons tests.”
Tyre Stewardship Australia CEO Lina Goodman said, “this innovative product made from recycled tyres could potentially save lives”.
Source: Illawarra Mercury