Ultra-High Performance Concrete – Technology for Present and Future

Prof.dr.ir. Yen Lei Voo, Dura Technology, Malaysia and University of New South Wales, 
Sydney, Australia.

Yen Lei Voo is executive director and founder of Dura Technology Sdn. Bhd., Malaysia. With his PhD from The University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia he was introduced to Ultra-High Performance Concrete (UHPC). In 2006, he founded Dura Technology Sdn. Bhd. based on his interest and knowledge in UHPC and his passion to create a more sustainable and environment friendly future. The Dura company has supplied or constructed about 100 UHPC bridges in Malaysia, with a further 10 bridges at various stages of construction. In 2016, his design of the 100 metre span Batu 6 Bridge obtained the PCI award for best International Transportation Structure.

Ultra-high performance concrete (UHPC) is an advanced cementitious-based composite material that offers new opportunities for infrastructure works, building constructions and many niche markets. In the last two decades UHPC has been used for both structural and non-structural precast components in many countries. However, this outstanding technology has struggled to become a main-stream technology for everyday use due to lack of design codes and due to initial high investment costs of manufacturing facilities. Moreover, the high UHPC material cost makes it hard to compete with conventional designs optimized for other materials. Most projects in these countries have been motivated by government agencies as demonstration projects intended to encourage further implementation. However, for most of the countries, the follow-up implementation has been slow. Both private and governmental bodies are increasing their directives for the attention and initiative towards exploiting UHPC as a future concrete construction material, in the belief that UHPC technology embraces a more complete solution for sustainable construction with favourable life cycle values.

Various examples on the application of UHPC technology especially in the context of Malaysia and Singapore will be briefly presented. The examples given will be focused in those past successful and present projects and other potential applications of UHPC technology that are either in designed stage or yet to be discovered. One of the examples will be on the ten equal spans, total 420-metre-long, Kg Baharu-Kg Teluk Bridge. Other examples are on internet transmission tower; light-weight precast bathroom unit (PBU); external wall for precast-prefinished-volumetric-construction (PPVC); retaining wall; portal frame structure; 100 metre span box girder bridge and others. At the end of the presentation, participants should be aware of how UHPC came into the construction industry as a futuristic material for applications, ideas, or solutions to current engineering problems. Their imagination should be sparked by the case study references presented.