By incorporating graphene into concrete, scientists have created a stronger and more sustainable water-resistant material.
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As the world calls for more eco-friendly construction, innovation has been enabling this cause. We have seen the development of a more environmentally-friendly version of concrete, Finite. This material uses desert sand to replace the traditional concrete binder, reducing its carbon footprint. Researchers have also found a way to improve concrete’s performance. By infusing concrete with fibres from recycled tyres, scientists were able to create a stronger version of concrete and prevent it from cracking. And now, scientists at Exeter University have managed to find a way to integrate graphene into concrete, resulting in a greener and sturdier concrete.
The new concrete was created using nano-engineering technology. Scientists suspended microscopically-thin shards of graphene in water. They then use this water to mix the concrete, resulting in a composite material. According to the researchers, the final product is “more than twice as strong and four times more water-resistant than existing concretes”. This makes the material more suitable than traditional concrete for construction, thanks to its strength and water-resistant properties. The process of making the graphene concrete is also much more efficient than making traditional concrete, requiring roughly fifty percent less material. This saves energy and reduces carbon emissions significantly.