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A flexible cloth with cement held between the layers of fabric that can be moulded quickly into shape by adding water has won an award recognising its outstanding technological innovation and potential to make a significant contribution to design, industry, society and the economy.
Concrete Cloth, manufactured by UK-based Concrete Canvas, won the 2009 Material of the Year award from materials consultancy firm, Material ConneXion. The design allows the fabric to be bent into shape and left to absorb water, setting after two hours to create a safe, durable, fireproof and waterproof structure.
The material was originally developed when the company designed a Concrete Canvas Shelter, a rapidly deployable shelter than only required water and air for construction, which could be assembled and used within 24 hours.
The fabric has a PVC backing on one surface, making the material waterproof. The company says it is impossible to saturate the material claiming it will also set underwater.
The designers hope the material will be applied in a range of commercial, military and humanitarian uses.
When the award was announced in November 2009, Material ConneXion Vice President of Library & Materials Research, Dr. Andrew H. Dent, said: This innovation is especially remarkable for enabling the construction of rapidly deployable shelter and food storage in disaster relief situations.
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