Advancement of technology has brought many wonders in various fields. In this regard, technology has also made its impact on conventional construction materials and techniques. With time, scientists and researchers are experimenting on construction material to increase their benefits. These benefits involve cost and sustainability. Following are few of these wonders gathered from around the world.
Scientists and researchers are experimenting on construction material to increase their benefits
1) Bendable concrete:
Also referred as an Engineered Cementitious Composite (ECC), this substance exhibits ductility and flexibility. Presence of 2% fibres in the mixture, lessens the brittle nature of concrete. Victor Lee formed this material in 1933 at University of Michigan. This construction material does not consist of aggregate which causes it to be lighter in weight than concrete. Because the fibres are held together within the matrix, it causes micro cracking. Due to these properties, they are used as energy dampeners in buildings.
2) Hydro ceramic:
The students at IAAC produced this construction material. Its purpose is to speculate thermodynamic process for cooling system in building. The clay in the walls will have hydrogel in them, which will release the ingested water. Because of this step, it will in turns reduce the indoor temperature of the building. Also, this method might help to reduce up to 28% of electricity, according to an estimation. This material is also cost-effective as it uses in-expensive material i.e. clay and hydrogel.
3) Cigarette Butts bricks:
Global litter matter is an increasing concern for the scientists. Trillions of cigarette butts are produced each year due to which million tons of waste is produces. These cigarette butts contains harmful chemicals that leach into the ground water and contaminate it. Dr. Abbas Mohajerani at RMIT university produced a fired clay brick composed of 1% cigarette butts. Also, he suggested that this material will reduce energy needed to fire bricks by 58%. These construction material exhibits same strength as normal bricks but have additional properties. Other than reducing litter, they are lighter than normal bricks and have insulation properties which will reduce household heating and cooling cost.
4) Luminous Cement:
This is a Smart construction material that can absorb and emit light. Dr. Jose Carlos of UMSNH formed this material. He made it official in 2015. The phosphorescent cement has same raw materials as normal cement with additives which makes it inorganic and easily recyclable up to 100 years. Due to the process of poly condensation, the material does not form crystals within the structure and is able to absorb light. In addition, this material can transmit light for 12 hours.
5) Breathe Bricks:
A project by Carmen Trudell of Cal Poly, he formed a brick that can absorb pollutants from the circulating air within the building. The product consists of concrete bricks and recycled plastic couple which act as vacuum. Hence, the brick will remove pollutant from the air and drop them in removable hopper at the base of the wall. He had conducted a wind tunnel test; the results showed this product was able to remove 30% fine material and 100% coarse material from the air. With additional mechanical setup, it can be used as a proper ventilation system for buildings. Similarly, Student form MIT formed an Eco-BLAC Brick that can combat pollution from brick kilns. Currently, his product is being tested in India.
6) Liquid Granite:
Formed in Sheffield Hallam University, Liquid Granite is largely made from recycled material. This material has a fire resistant property. It uses less than 1/3 cement than used in concrete hence can reduce carbon footprint. This material has same load bearing property of regular cement but is relatively light weight. This material can be used in places where fire safety is crucial such as power stations and commercial plazas.
7) Self-healing Concrete:
Multiple universities are carrying out research to form self-healing concrete and testing their long term effects. Mostly because these types of material will help in reducing long term maintenance cost. Therefore, many researchers have found various ways for self-healing mechanism. In 2006, Dr. Henk Jonkers of Delf University carried out research that incorporate mineral producing bacteria that will biologically produce limestone to heal cracks. In 2010, an engineering graduate at University of Rhode Island produced a smart construction concrete that was composed of ting capsules of sodium silicate. Other studies include use fungus based self-healing mechanism.
Technology is proving useful in modernising our techniques and infrastructure. Therefore, it is necessary that these methods incorporate sustainability and environmental factor for future development.