from the urls-we-dig-up dept
Every year, people pour billions of tons of concrete to build the stuff we live in and drive on. Concrete is everywhere, so it’d be nice to find better ways to make it and to make it more durable and to last longer. (FYI: Concrete is usually made up of 10-15% cement, and the cement is used to bind together sand and/or crushed rocks in concrete.) Here are just a few links on making better concrete.
- Superhydrophobic Engineered Cementitious Composite (SECC) is a mouthful of a name for a flexible, super-strong and long-lasting building material that could enable bridges and roadways to last over a century with minimal maintenance. Roads made with conventional reinforced concrete generally need to be replaced or significantly repaired within a few decades. [url]
- Certain bacteria can produce limestone, and adding these bugs to concrete makes a living building material that can repair itself. The trick is keeping the bacteria dormant (and not dead) until they’re needed to help fill in small cracks in the concrete. [url]
- Roman concrete has lasted for thousands of years and is far superior to Portland cement in places like marine harbors. The lost recipe for Roman concrete probably contains lime and volcanic rock or volcanic ash, and modern concrete/cement could benefit from examining ancient samples of durable Roman building materials. [url]
If you’d like to read more awesome and interesting stuff, check out this unrelated (but not entirely random!) Techdirt post via StumbleUpon.