By incorporating graphene into concrete, scientists have created a stronger and more sustainable water-resistant material.
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 scientists created this new concrete using nano-engineering technology. With this technique, scientists were able to suspend atomically thin shards of graphene in water. Scientists then use this water to mix the concrete, resulting in a better 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. Moreover, this isn’t the only advantage. The process of making concrete with graphene incorporated, is much more efficient than the traditional process. It requires roughly fifty percent less material. This saves energy and reduces carbon emissions significantly. This new environmentally-friendly concrete represents an important movement in the construction industry, towards a greener future.
It seems there is still much progress to be made in the construction industry. Innovations like this have the capacity to help create this change. With advances in technology and a greater focus on the environment, could this be the start of something big? How else could environmentally-friendly materials be developed?