High density concrete
High density or heavyweight concrete is concrete with a density
greater than 2600kg/m3. Its primary use is in
radiation shielding, either in nuclear power plants or in radiation
therapy units. It can also be used as ballast in offshore
locations such as pipelines.
High density concrete can be made from natural heavyweight
aggregates such as barites or magnetite which typically give
densities of 3500kg/m3 and 3900kg/m3
respectively. They can also be made using iron or lead as a
replacement for a portion of the aggregate. These give even
greater densities of 5900kg/m3 for iron or
8900kg/m3 for lead.
High density concretes should be specified to BS 8500-1 as a
designed or a prescribed concrete in the same way as normal density
concrete, with an additional clause specifying the target
density. BS 8500-1 states that the density for heavyweight
concrete should not be less than 130kg/m3 less than the
specified target density. There is no upper limit on the
Heavyweight concretes can be designed in the same way as normal
weight concretes, but the additional self weight should be taken
into account. They can be transported and placed in the same
way as normal weight concretes but the additional density means
that smaller volumes can be transported and placed.
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