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Building material of the future unveiled
26 October 2009
Sheffield Hallam University
Scientists have developed a new building material that is fire resistant to temperatures in excess of 1100 degrees Celsius, is made largely from recycled material and is as versatile as concrete.
Liquid Granite offers a real breakthrough in reducing fire risk in buildings as, unlike concrete, it doesn't explode at high temperatures. It can also withstand high temperatures for longer periods, offering valuable minutes in the case of a fire.
The material is made up of between 30 and 70 per cent recycled material, mainly base products from industry. It uses less than one third of the cement used in precast concrete, which also reduces its carbon footprint.
The product was developed at Sheffield Hallam University and is available from Liquid Granite Ltd. The new material is being used by a number of organisations in building projects as it has a four hour fire rating, meaning that it provides the top level of protection in the case of a fire.
Professor Pal Mangat is the Director of the Centre of Infrastructure Management at Sheffield Hallam University and developed Liquid Granite. He explains, "Liquid Granite is a very versatile material that can be used in a similar way to concrete. The fact it has a high level of fire resistance means that it can be used in areas where fire safety is crucial, such as around power stations, and in domestic and commercial buildings can offer added time for evacuation in case of an emergency.
"The product replaces most of the cement in standard concrete with a secret formula of products to change the basic properties of the material. I believe it has great potential for the future."
Bob Richards from Liquid Granite said, "There has already been a great deal of interest from the building industry about this product, and it has been supplied onto projects such as the Olympic Village and Stratford Shopping Centre in London in the form of fire rated lintels manufactured by King Stone Products’. It will really make a difference to the safety of our buildings and could potentially save lives."