New seismic resistant material designed by UBC engineering students

Salman Soleimani-Dashtaki shows some of the tested EDCC specimens (Beth Mariam/BCIT News)

A new seismic resistant concrete designed by UBC engineering students will help make Vancouver schools safer in the event of an earthquake.

The material is called EDCC – short for eco-friendly ductile cementitious composite – and it is made of cement, polymer-based fibres, flyash, and other industrial additives.

Salman Soleimani-Dashtaki is a civil engineering PhD candidate. He is part of the team that researched and developed the material. He says the team tested the using a variety of stressors to make sure it can withstand tension.

“It’s about 70% replacement of cement by industrial by-products. We’re only using 30% of cement. It’s tactile so it can take a lot of deformation.” – Salman Soleimani-Dashtaki

EDCC is a spray on reinforcement, and according to UBC, a 10 millimetre-thick layer on walls is enough to reinforce it against earthquake damage or collapse.

The material has been approved by the provincial government, and will be used to reinforce a Vancouver elementary school.

Salman hopes the technology can be made accessible for other schools soon. In the video, he shows the thickness of the EDCC and the fibres that help it withstand seismic activity.

With files from Beth Mariam