Global concrete and cement market unrolls the latest innovation: Concrete Canvas


Updated Mon, 26 Jan 2015 13:25:30 GMT

Concrete Canvas is the latest innovation in the concrete and cement market and is being used increasingly in the mining, civil infrastructure and petrochemicals market sectors.

Although the concept was created 10 years ago by engineers Peter Brewin and Will Crawford whilst they were students at the Royal College of Art in London, Concrete Canvas is only now beginning to see mainstream use. The product is a fabric that is embedded with a specially-formulated concrete that hardens with exposure to water to form a waterproof and fireproof shelter. The engineers’ original idea for the use of the material was for buildings constructed quickly for use in emergencies; shelters that could be dropped into disaster zones or areas of military conflict and quickly assembled. Sold in large roles, the fabric and be manipulated into shape on the ground, on slopes and on existing concrete. Once water is applied to the shape, the structure is ready to use within 24 hours.

In reality, the product has been used much more widely in civil construction and engineering projects from around the world, ranging in application from lining ditches to securing underwater pipelines. The company has a current annual $5 million turnover and has been used for several high-profile projects: the Ministry of Defence used Concrete Canvas as a covering for sandbags in Afghanistan; and Network rail used the product in a construction project so they didn’t have to prepare the concrete off-site and transport slabs in a timely and costly procedure. With mining, civil infrastructure and petrochemicals the company’s current top marketable industries, Concrete Canvas will look to the market for the refurbishment of existing concrete structures that have suffered degradation and cracking for future expansion.

The innovative Concrete Canvas is an indication of the forward-moving technology of the global concrete and cement market. In China, a company is printing 3D houses with trusses of fibre reinforced cement made from the waste materials and construction debris of industrial projects. The method saves on material costs, speeds up the timescale for building construction, and saves on labour costs.

The Asia-Pacific region was the largest regional concrete and cement market in 2014, accounting for 61% of the global share, largely due to the urbanisation and infrastructure redevelopment in growing economies including China, India, Japan and Indonesia. Indonesia is forecast to be the fastest-growing single nation in the concrete and cement market since the government launched their Master Plan for the Acceleration and Expansion of Indonesia’s Economic Development, aiming to make the country a developed nation by the year 2025.

Although the global concrete and cement market growth slowed during the economic crisis as construction and subsequent demand for cement and concrete declined, the market has shown signs of improvement and is expected to record a 6% CAGR for the period 2015-2018. Products like Concrete Canvas are set to drive the market forward, offering quick and cost-effective construction solutions.