Formex is the best concrete choice EVER
Weight reduction of 40-75%
Compresive strength 3 to 5 times higther
Lifespan up to 4 times greater
What is Formex®?
Formex® is one of the most used UHPCs in Europe. Designed and registered by RDC, Formex® premix can be tailored to meet the flowability and performance requirements of any application. Formex® satisfies the requirements of the Norms NF P18-710 and NF P18-470, including the demanding mechanical and durability requirements. Since year 2013, more than 5.000 ton of Formex® solutions have been installed in different countries to minimize the maintenance costs and provide higher reliability to the users. Formex® is a unique UHPC premix for several reasons:
- Unlike other mortar premixes, which are designed to produce non-structural pieces with aesthetic finishing, Formex® is particularly oriented to demanding applications, where durability, mechanical performance, lightness, or costs are a key aspect for the operator.
- Formex® is not simply a premix. Formex® is also technology transfer tailored to the client. RDC listen to the client needs and adapts the premix, providing support to scale up the application at its factory, guiding in the calculation of the elements produced with Formex® and helping to integrate an intense and simplified quality control plan. The integration of Formex® technology does not require significant investments in equipment or testing tools.
- Formex® is the main material used by the precast company PREFFOR, owned by RDC owners. Thus, the mix is optimized for its production at industrial scale and is under continuous improvement thanks to the experience gained during years by PREFFOR with different mixtures. The experience of RDC-PREFFOR in the whole UHPC value chain assures that the customer needs will be understood from the beginning, providing an efficient and market-oriented solution.
The use of Formex® is adequate there were other materials are inefficient or can be replaced by a more reliable solution. It is known that many materials are well-performing under some mechanical stresses, but all of them have limitations when submitted to certain environments or technical challenges. For example, steel has a significant tensile strength and toughness, but it is difficult to shape it and it requires protection against fire and corrosion. Plastic can be shaped easily, but its reduced young modulus hampers the design of efficient structural solutions. Ordinary concrete has an excellent ratio compressive strength/cost, but its reduced toughness under tension implies the need of using steel rebars, requiring a cover that increases the weight of the structure. Formex® is a smart answer to all these constrains, being a material with excellent workability and an excellent ratio performance/cost.
The table below compares the performance of Formex® with some of the most common materials used in civil engineering and industry.
Precast concrete has experienced an exponential growth in the last years, replacing many in-situ applications towards a higher industrialization of the sector. The precasting system is based in pouring the concrete on a mould and extracting the hardened element after few hours. Thus, precasting with ordinary concretes allows certain freedom of forms, but they are limited by the geometry of the steel rebars and the potential damage of the hardened element during the extraction from the mould. In the case of the UHPC, precasting gives much more freedom: The steel rebars can be avoided and the toughness of the material lets the designer to go beyond reducing thicknesses or increasing the slenderness. Besides, the high amount of fine particles allows a better surface finishing, being possible to create more sophisticated elements than the stale and rough traditional concrete elements. Formex® provides with its premix all these possibilities, letting designers and architects to achieve new aesthetic challenges. RDC can provide support in all these steps: Designing the appropriate mould and texture, adapting the premix fineness and color and defining the curing time to guarantee a safe extraction of the element.
It is well known that sustainable production requires to consider the waste hierarch, which follows this order: Reduce, reuse, and recycle. Using Formex® helps significantly to follow this rule: The volume of material resources is reduced between a 40% and 75% compared to ordinary concrete. As the lifespan of a Formex® solution is generally longer, the consumption of resources per unit of time is even lower, especially considering that maintenance products are reduced or avoided. These reductions imply that the volume to be recycled at the end of the lifespan of the Formex® solution is, per unit of time, 80% to 90% lower than for the ordinary concrete option. Other positive effects of reducing the weight of the elements are the lower environmental impact of their transport and manipulation. Besides, as the components of the structure are joined with screwed connections, their reuse in similar or different applications is possible. This is more relevant for UHPC components as their lifespan is long and a non-destructive decommissioning should be considered for any application. Finally, RDC carries out continuous research to reduce the environmental impact of Formex® material towards the sustainability excellence of the products made with it.