After the patent of the UHPC rafts in 2015, RDC required to build full-scale pilots of these floating structures to prove to the farmers their durability and suitability. This shaping strategy also required a wide communication and dissemination campaign to familiarize the sector with this new technology. Being RDC a small company and with limited financial resources, they applied in 2016 to the Phase 2 SME Instrument call with the project SELMUS – The Formex® raft: Towards the revolution of the European mussel farming (nº 738777), which was awarded. This action provided the necessary financial and institutional support to launch the product, which reached the market in 2018.
Why to use UHPC?
In the SELMUS project four different full-scale prototypes were built with UHPC, two installed in the Port of Valencia (Mediterranean basin) and two in Arousa estuary (Atlantic waters). Two of the structures were completely flat and with the grid 100% made of UHPC, while the other two had the beams made of UHPC and the joists made of wood. The goal of using UHPC was to maximize the durability of the structure and reduce to the minimum the maintenance costs.
- Project SELMUS brought the support to implement the shaping strategy required for the market deployment of the Formex® rafts
- The project financed the installation of life cameras on the pilots to show to the farmers the response of the UHPC rafts under storms.
- The project financed a remote monitoring system to compare the progress of the corrosion of the UHPC beams with a reference with ordinary concrete, proving the high compacity of this material.
- 2.000 m2 floating with the four prototypes installed during the project.
- Completion of the project in 12 months and reaching all the KPIs established.