The most well-known construction material on the planet is concrete. Concrete is often associated with dull, grey, monotonous forms of construction. Numerous innovations in construction & technology have led to greater advancement of concrete as a non-traditional construction material. Bringing new concrete products to market that could make a big difference to our built environment. Here, we look at three of the most impressive developments and forms of concrete that will soon be viable in the market.
1. SELF- HEALING CONCRETE
Self-healing concrete is generally characterized as the capacity of concrete to fix its breaks autogenously or independently. Cracks in concrete are a typical peculiarity because of its somewhat low elasticity. Toughness of concrete is hindered by these breaks since they give a simple way to the transportation of fluids and gases that possibly contain destructive substances.
What causes cracks in concrete?
Cracks appear in concrete due to various reasons of low tensile strength. There are few causes why the cracks begin to appear:
- Due to improper mixing & vibration during casting.
- Application of heavy loads during the curing process.
- Low quality/standards of materials.
- Adverse change in temperature during casting & curing.
- Poor mixing of concrete.
Can these cracks be self-healed?
Whilst cement is one of the most widely used materials in construction for its strength and durability properties, it can crack when exposed to water or chemicals over time, undermining structures. Self-mending of cracks in cement would add to a more drawn-out help life of substantial constructions and would make the material sturdier as well as more supportable.
Is it available in the market now? No, but a research team at the University of Bath in the UK are now developing a form of “self-healing concrete” by adding micro-capsules to mixes that contain calcite-precipitating bacteria. When water enters cracks in the concrete, these bacteria germinate to produce limestone, filling the cracks and preventing any steel reinforcement from corroding due to prolonged exposure. If scaled and applied effectively, this self-healing solution could extend the life of concrete structures and reduce maintenance costs.
Benefits of Self-Healing Concrete
- It has the potential to survive for decades or millennia. It also guarantees that we will never have to repair your concrete surface during its lifetime.
- It has higher compressive Strength.
2. GREEN CONCRETE
Most common binding material used in concrete mix is Portland cement, which is the traditional component of concrete but also adding 50% to annual global carbon emission. When a percentage of Portland cement is replaced with an environmentally friendly cementitious ingredient in a concrete mix, green concrete is created.
Before we understand green concrete, what is concrete? Concrete is a mixture of cement, sand and gravel or aggregates. The strength of concrete attained depends on the proportion of the basic component of concrete mix.
To be considered green concrete, eco-friendly cementitious ingredients should be combined with OPC. The following are the descriptions of alternative cementitious materials, along with the percentages that they can be combined with OPC.
GGBS – Ground Granulated Blast Slack
The ground granulated blast slack, commonly known as slag cement, is a steel manufacturing by-product. It's widely used as a partial replacement for Portland cement in concrete mixes, up to 80%.
The by-product of coal combustion in electric power plants is fly ash. It's widely used in concrete as a partial replacement for 25 to 55 percent of the Portland cement.
SF - Silica Fume
SF stands for silica fume, a by-product of the electric furnace used to make silicon alloy. It is typically used as a partial substitute for Portland cement at a rate of around 5% to 10%.
FGL - Fiberglass Laminate.
FGL is basically thin fibres of glass, the strands of glass are added to mixed concrete to attain more strength. The quantity ranges from 0.1 percent to 3 percent more cement. FGL can be used in combination with any of the above cement substitutes – Silica fumes, Fly Ash or GGBS.
The following are some of the benefits of using green concrete -
Green concrete extends the life of concrete structures and reinforced materials.
- It boosts the concrete compressive strength by at least 20% after 90 days of casting and generates more durable concrete because it is more resistant to salts and sulphates.
- It can increase concrete workability by lowering the rate of concrete cracking, reducing moisture and water permeability, and increasing the strength of the concrete.
- Increasing the thermal insulation and fire resistance of concrete decreases carbon dioxide emissions by 80% while also increasing the availability and affordability of environmentally acceptable materials.
Is it available in the market now? Eco-friendly cementitious ingredients should be combined to concrete mix reducing the usage of OPC to be considered green concrete. The environmentally friendly materials mentioned above are widely accessible in Largest Collection of Construction Materials Online (arkihive.com) at approximately the same price as OPC.
Benefits of Green Concrete
Green concrete is extremely inexpensive to produce because we use by-products of other raw material manufacturing material. The use of concrete in the construction industry is growing at a faster pace, and the expansion of urban culture and its necessity fuels interest in alternative construction materials.
- To Reduce Co2 Emission
- To Decrease the Demand for Conventional Material
- To Recycle and Reuse the Materials
3. TRANSLUCENT CONCRETE
When you think about concrete, your mind probably conjures up images of something powerful, heavy, and substantial. Consider the possibility that cement may be translucent, allowing light to enter areas and making them look airy and breezy.
Let’s get introduced to Translucent Concrete! How does concrete emit light?
Translucent concrete is a concrete based building material with light transmissive properties due to embedded optical elements. Which are usually optical fibres, these optical fibres replace other significant aggregates and direct light from both counterfeit and legitimate sources even at a point of frequency more than 60 degrees.
The most frequent method of constructing clear concrete is like that of conventional cement; the primary distinction is the incorporation of 4 percent - 5 percent optical fibres, by volume, into the blend.
What are the Applications for Translucent Concrete?
- Translucent concrete can be used for pavements, flooring.
- Can also be used for desks and staircases.
- Facades, Partition panels & Door can be made with translucent concrete.
The building industry is currently exploring alternate material for cement and its major use in Concrete. In the world of sustainable development, progressive approaches to concrete and cement are emerging. It is a progressive approach to concrete in the building sector.
Want to experiment with Building Materials?
As creators, Designers and Architects you can explore materials that can reduce the carbon footprint throughout the lifecycle of the building and embodied carbon. If you want to make a conscious material selection that meets extreme requirements. You can now browse for Building Materials on Arkihive to get multiple quotes on material and make an informed decision!