In 2015, Canadian Greenfield Technologies (CGT) developed a hemp fiber concrete additive that strengthens concrete and reduces cracking. Called “NForce-Fiber,” the additive is now specified for construction of bobsled tracks for the Olympics in 2022.
Based in Calgary, CGT was founded in 2012 by Mike Pildysh. Pildysh is a structural engineer who wanted to reduce early stage cracking in concrete, which can be an issue when using plastic, steel, or glass fibers.
Steel and glass are expensive. Although the most commonly used fiber to reinforce concrete is plastic, it became clear to Pildysh that a better alternative was needed.
“The strongest natural fiber just happened to be hemp,” says Stephen Christensen, vice president and general manager of Canadian Greenfield Technologies (CGT).
The hemp fibers are grown in southern Alberta. CGT has developed proprietary machinery for “decortation,” a process that produces the hemp fibers. It allows various strains of industrial hemp to be used in creating a desirable finished product.
That finished product is “NForce-Fiber.” It has been used in pools, skate parts, and decorative projects. The largest project to date is a British Columbian skate park, which will use 800 lbs. of NForce-Fiber.
That number could be dwarfed as NForce-Fiber has been specified for the bobsled tracks for the 2022 Olympics. The first shipment of 360 lbs. has already been sent to China.
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