Steady Foundations: An Overview Of The Material That Binds Us.
They said Concrete jungles are where dreams are made of. From the remarkable Roman architecture –Pantheon to the Parisian city of Marseille, concrete is the starting point of any infrastructure that has potential. It is integral to the process, bringing longevity durability and maximized efficiency. With its ability to withstand variable environmental factors, it is important to invest in this initial step. Famous architects such as Le Corbusier, Pierre Jeanneret’s and David Chapperfield all have one essential element in common; an extensive knowledge and use of concrete. Over the years, notable architects, designers and engineers all over the world have stayed a step ahead of the game and adapted concrete innovation within the crux of their operations.
Concrete innovation is augmented with additives and elements that are designed to withstand uncontrollable factors, such as flooding, cracking, but also with the ability to yield bespoke structures accompanied by greater longevity.
5 Concrete Inventions - that are designed to rock your world.
1- Self Healing Concrete:
One of the newest innovations in concrete technology, self-healing concrete is designed with
the ability to repair or heal its own cracks. Often associated with their low tensile strength.
Cracks in concrete can deteriorate its durability and may even lead to corrosion within
formwork. The Self-healing phenomenon has been prevalent within the industry for a while;
however with the introduction of newer additives, many new inventions such as ‘Autogenous
Healing’ have come to light. Due to their secretions, they are able to produce binding glue-like
elements that will thus, enclose or “repair” cracks within.
Leading industries such as Concreative in Dubai, and Baslisk, have taken initiative to ensure its implemented and encouraged more frequently within the industry.
2- Pervious Concrete:
Concrete is a type of concrete which possessing a high level of porosity, creating a medium for water to pass through. In other words, during precipitation the highly porous medium of the concrete enables it to be absorbed to the underlying soil. This is an elemental innovation which has been known to prevent flooding, while at the same time providing an eco-friendly environment for the trees around. It is essentially used in sidewalks and pavements to control stormwaters, prevent hydrocarbon pollution caused by asphalt pavements.
3- 3D Printed concrete:
3D printing has been introduced for a while in all sectors of engineering. Similarly, 3D printing of concrete has brought impressive results within the industry. Some even capable of building a house within 24 hours! 3DCP or 3D concrete printing yield lower construction costs, bespoke designs and structural elements and higher quality.
4- Martian Concrete:
Another interesting concept that is being considered is martian concrete. Yes, Martian as in Mars. Although it may seem prone skepticism, the martian concrete mix is being heavily studied, and involves elements of surface on mars known as ‘Regolith’. Northwestern researchers believe that due to sulphur elements easily accessible within Mars, it may be superior from the available concrete on Earth –tackling all of its downsides including CO2 emissions and pollution.
5- Cement Free Concrete:
This form of concrete has been linked to being a ticket to building a sustainable city. Concrete has been linked to be the highest source of contributor towards man-made CO2 emissions. Companies such as Greenbloc and Cemfree are ultra-low carbon alternatives to traditional mixes of concrete (OPC). Not only this, Cement free Concrete alleviates concrete corrosion by 96% and residual lime.