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The sea defence built on plastic


Blackpool is the first major coastal protection or sea defence project to use plastic fibre reinforcement instead of steel.

Historically, synthetic macro fibres have mainly been used to strengthen concrete flooring and pavements. But they were chosen for this project because, unlike steel, they are totally non-corrosive.

The particular brand of fi bre reinforcement used at Blackpool is Strux 90/40, manufactured by Grace Construction Products. It was chosen by consultant Halcrow because of its high tensile strength, which under test conditions kept concrete stitched together once it had cracked. At Blackpool, Strux is being used in the 3.3km long toe beam and the beach's concrete steps.

With such tight time slots to pour the concrete, time was saved by using the fibre reinforcement, which did not have to be fixed.

The concrete also contains Grace's Adva Flow 410 - a new generation superplasticiser -? increasing its strength and improving its durability by lowering the water: cement ratio.

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