Ultra-high performance fibre-reinforced concretes: an alternative to protective sheeting
Designed mainly for the construction and maintenance of civil engineering structures, UHPC is a new generation of concrete that opens up a world of new innovative possibilities. We are already proposing this new material to our clients. It has been used on a first project at the Rhône power plant in Chippis.
Abrasion is one of the most frequently encountered form of degradation on hydraulic structures. In hydroelectric production, the most exposed areas are the drainage channels of the bottom of the catch water drain, the gravel traps and sand traps. The cement-based matrix of concrete has a poor resistance to shocks and the friction of particles that are driven-out, often at high speed, during purging operations.
A solution for structures under enormous stress conditions is to use steel as protective sheeting. However, it is difficult to install metal sheets when the surfaces are not flat and have a complex geometry.
Nowadays, there is a new revolutionary type of concrete emerging and offering stat of the art solutions for vast kind of. Various tests and applications have shown that a layer of this concrete, with a high content of cement and metal fibre, provides an abrasion resistance equivalent to that of granite. This type of concrete is also resistant in the event of cavitation.
Always on the lookout for innovative solutions, HYDRO Exploitation proposes using UHPC to restore the apron of the pits at the outlet of the turbine units at the Rhône power plant in Chippis.
The solution-generated savings compared to the installation of protective sheeting as originally planned. At work completion, the plastered surfaces looked the same as those retained. Another advantage is the construction time; also quicker.