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Concrete is a mixture of cement as a bonder, aggregates (sand and gravel), water and additives. Its quality and its performances are dependant on those of its components and their proportions.
In the past one talked about concrete, today it is essential to talk about concretes as now there is a variety of types. In the past, it was tolerant and its performances did not particularly depend on its manufacture or its use. Today, the new concretes are much more powerful. In its various compositions, concrete is now the second most used material in the world, the first being water.
They belong to the same family as very high-performance concretes (HPC) and ultra-high performance fibre-reinforced concretes (HPFC). They all contain very little water (only 35 litres per m3 compared with 110 to 120 litres per m3 for traditional concrete) and have a maximum capacity. Patented by Lafarge, in collaboration with Bouygues and Rhodia, DUCTAL® is an ultra-high performance vibrated concrete whose compressive strength is up to six times greater than that of traditional concrete. It is very resistant to abrasion, pollution and to scratching thanks to its very low porosity. Very fluid, it takes the exact shape of the formworks, in this way opening the way to significant prospects for designers.
The latest generation of concretes are moving into new fields such as design and interior decoration. This new “trend” is largely inspired by the so-called “modern” movement centred around the power of shape, of functionality. Among others, the major players in this movement are: Le Corbusier, Oscar Erlenmeyer, Adolf Loos, Auguste Perret…