Cortex is an easily transportable alternative to cement, in the form of rollable concrete sheets that are activated by water.
Cement trucks are incredibly expensive to run, especially in areas that only require a thin layer of cement — such as drainage ditches and canal beds in developing countries. Now, Cortex Composites has created an easily transportable alternative, in the form of rollable concrete sheets that are activated by water.
Cortex is a comprised of four layers. On top is a water soluble fabric, which holds the cement in place during installation. Beneath this is the proprietary cement mix. Next there is a framework of 3D matting, and finally, a water-proof membrane. The combination makes it twice as strong as average concrete while using less material. The material comes rolled up, which saves on transportation costs. Once it has been laid out, water is added, causing the cement mix to form a gel and lock in place before setting.
Cortex costs USD 4.50 per square foot, USD 2 less than normal concrete. Plus, the construction process is significantly more rapid; Cortex Composites estimates that 400 meters squared can be installed per day. We have seen a number of other examples of sustainable building material, such as a semi-hollow brick and an alternative to clay fired bricks made from industrial waste. Could any other construction materials be re-imagined to save money, time and resources?