Concrete technology. For people outside of the construction industry, it might sound like an oxymoron. After all, how much can the gray building material really change? The answer is, quite a bit. While all concrete might appear equal to the untrained eye, scientific minds the world over have been working hard to find new ways to improve upon modern-day concrete blends in ways that benefit both construction methods and the environment.
Read on for a brief overview of concrete technology advancements that have made headlines in recent months.
A Seawater Additive for Sustainable Concrete
Researchers from the University of Miami have begun experimenting with the addition of salty seawater, as opposed to traditional freshwater, for its new “Seacrete.” Benefits of the new blend include lessened dependence on the world’s limited supply of freshwater, as well as the elimination of transportation costs in certain regions. Read the full story on forconstructionpros.com.
Concrete Capable of Capturing Carbon Dioxide
A team known as Carbon Upcycling UCLA, from the University of California, is competing in the NRG COSIA Carbon XPrize competition with a project aimed at turning carbon dioxide into blocks of concrete. Throughout their three-month demonstration, the team predicts it can create 10 tons of concrete each day. You can view full details on the IEEE Spectrum website.
A Bacteria Blend to Produce “Living Concrete”
A team of researchers at the University of Colorado, Boulder, is behind a new form of concrete that is not only based in bacteria, but also has the ability to reproduce. The novel approach encourages bacteria to create its own concrete, rather than adding the bacteria to existing material, and results in a green substance whose color fades as it dries. Read the story on the Northwest Arkansas Democrat Gazette website.
Although it might be a while before such advances in concrete technology are commonplace among builders, it’s exciting to consider the possibilities. The General Chipping team plans to remain on top of these and other stories regarding concrete technology.