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Reactive powder concrete for facade elements – A sustainable approach

Urs Mueller


Reactive powder concrete (RPC) is a fairly novel material with extraordinary strength and durability properties. Due to these properties, it is increasingly being utilized for external facade cladding thus enabling a considerable reduction in the thickness of concrete elements. Commercial RPC formulations on the market are usually expensive and less sustainable due to high cement clinker contents. In this study, improved RPC formulations with higher amounts of supplementary cementitious materials (SCMs) were developed. The formulations were combined with different types of reinforcements ranging from steel fibres to fibre textile grids primarily to enhance the ductility and tensile strength of the material.

The results showed that even with clinker replacement levels of up to ca. 40 % of the total binder amount, a satisfactory mechanical performance of the RPC mixes could still be achieved. A fairly steep strength gain rendered heat treatment unnecessary. The materials displayed good flow properties and a reasonably short initial setting time. The incorporation of carbon textile fibre grids proved to be highly effective in improving the post failure performance of the RPC. The results validated a more sustainable approach for RPC applied to thin facade elements..


Façade; reactive powder concrete; textile reinforcement; durability; strength

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