Blog Posts

Defects Aren’t Always a Bad Thing – Just ask the Ancient Romans

Concrete is a highly regarded building material in large part due to its inherent strength and durability – something that was first recognized by the Ancient Romans thousands of years ago. What stands the Ancient Roman concrete apart from today’s concrete though, is the fact that we rely…

Cement + Water + Wood = Concrete?!

The current outbreak the mountain pine beetle and its microbial associates, native to the forests of western North America from Mexico to central British Columbia has destroyed wide areas of lodgepole pine forest, including more than 16 million of the 55 million hectares of forest in British Columbia….

Simplify Your Concrete Mixes with this All-in-One Additive

With concrete being one of the most popular construction materials used by engineers and professionals worldwide, it is easy to assume that this widespread material, so seemingly pedestrian, must be straightforward and singular, with no hidden secrets. However, the reality of the matter is that making it requires…

America’s First Vertical Evacuation Shelter

Seismologists are predicting a one-in-three probability of a catastrophic earthquake with a very high likelihood for a subsequent tsunami to hit the coast of the Pacific Northwest within the next 50 years. With the majority of the coast wholly unprepared, a few places are taking steps to prepare…

Laser Scanning: New Fire Damage Detection in Concrete

Though concrete is known to be a material which has high fire-resistance, its physical, chemical and mechanical properties do endure severe changes when subjected to high temperatures – particularly with temperatures over 300 degrees Celsius. Fire is actually one of the most serious potential risks to concrete structures…

Have no Fear – EMP-Proof Concrete is Here

Have you ever had the fear that we are under the threat of an EMP attack that will knock out all electronics – spiralling the world into apocalyptic chaos? Well, thanks to the work of University of Nebraska engineers Christopher Tuan and Lim Nguyen, such worries of our…

Smog-Eating Concrete to Battle Air-borne Pollution

Around the globe one of the biggest collective concerns is that of pollution. With the heat on them due to the increased amounts of CO2 entering the air from production facilities and energy sourcing, engineers are now looking to come up with creative solutions to battle it. Get…

Bugholes in Concrete

According to ACI 347-04, “Guide to Formwork for Concrete”, bug holes are surface voids in concrete defined as small regular or irregular cavities that usually do not exceed 15 mm in diameter. They are the result of the entrapment of air bubbles in the surface of formed concrete…

The Use of Pozzolans in place of Fly-Ash in Concrete Mix Design

Fly-ash, a component found in burning coal, is a common aggregate added to the composition of concrete as a means to increase strength. But because coal is being used less in the generation of electricity in particular states, including California, the issue of fly ash shortages needs to…

Replacing BT-Roads by Concrete to Improve Durability

Bitumen is a black, oily and viscous material that is a naturally occurring organic by-product of decomposed organic materials. It is a common binder that is mixed with and glued together aggregates to make asphalt and its primary use is found in road construction. However, due to the…

SmartRock para Control de Calidad de Hormigón

El Giatec SmartRock® es un sensor que permite determinar la resistencia a la compresión estimada, basado en la madurez de hormigón, al registrar la temperatura del hormigón fresco durante el proceso de fraguado. Este método es el único recomendado por la NCh170:2016 para determinar la resistencia real del…

Concrete Re-Imagined – From Opaque to Translucent

When the image of concrete enters one’s mind, an object with the inherent characteristics of solidity, heaviness and opaqueness presents itself as this is the only form in which we have been exposed to. However, with the development of new concrete mixtures, this is about to change. Often…

Microbial Communities May Help us Detect Damaged Concrete

Concrete is known to be the world’s most common building material as it shapes our buildings, bridges and runways, sidewalks and more – and at first glance, one would assume that it is not a hospitable environment for living organisms. Freshly poured concrete for instance, has a pH…

What Will Happen if the Trump Wall Project Materializes?

Donald Trump plans on building a wall along the entire Mexican border if he is elected as the President of America as an attempt to hinder the migration of illegal immigrants making their way into the country. Interestingly some of the beneficiaries of this project would be Mexican…

Asbestos in Old Concrete Buildings

When contractors have a job that entails demolition of an old concrete building from the early 1900’s one issue arises with respect to concerns about asbestos being included in the concrete mixture. Get Your First SmartRock Concrete Sensor for FREE Free Demo Kit Noting that asbestos is a…

To Repair or To Rebuild – That is the Question

Over the next several months, the concrete base of Oceanside’s municipal pier – an iconic 90-year old structure located in California – will be undergoing much needed repairs. However, city officials claim it still may need to be rebuilt entirely over the next few years. Get Your First…

Self-Healing Concrete – Embedding Self-Activating Bacteria

Apart from water, concrete is the most widely produced and consumed material on earth, according to a WBCSD report. This material is what paves our roads, spans our bridges and builds our buildings. It is a leading carbon emitter that goes unnoticed even though it surrounds us every…

Bendable Concrete – A Stronger, More Durable Concrete

Increased Tensile Strength with Flexible ConcreteTypical concrete is characterised by its heavy, brittle qualities which lends itself to breakage under tension. To combat this, Nanyang Technological University scientists from the NTU-JTC Industrial Infrastructure Innovation Centre (13C) have invented a new type of concrete called the ConFlexPave. What makes…

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