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Is Sustainable Concrete the Next Superior Building Material?

3/8/17 9:22 AM

Courtesy: Solidia Technologies

Energy efficient products all flooding the marketplace as people become more conscientious about the environment and saving money. In the U.S. alone, building efficiency products and services grew 8% last year, reaching $26.4 billion. With the advanced energy industry worth $200 in the U.S. and $1.4 trillion worldwide, it's no surprise energy efficient technology is now being applied to concrete.

We commonly associate vehicles and industrial plants with air pollution, but did you know concrete manufacturing emits a major greenhouse gases? Some even estimate that industry accounts for nearly 5% of annual man-made carbon emissions.

Traditional concrete used for construction requires water to reach temperatures between 50 to 77 °F, which directly effects the strength of the material. Maintaining the proper temperature typically requires burning fossil fuels, which emits carbon dioxide. The greenhouse gas is also emitted by the concrete when the calcium carbonate breaks down.

To make the process eco-friendly Richard Riman, a professor at Rutgers University, developed an energy efficient technology that harnesses low temperature, water-based reactions. The patent technology called reactive hydrothermal liquid-phase densification penetrates the pores between the particles, creating a "bridge" between them to lock them into place.

From that idea, Riman founded Solidia Technologies, marketing the eco-friendly cement and concrete for construction. Unlike conventional concrete which cures in the presence of water, Solidia Concrete cure used CO₂ from our atmosphere, reducing the carbon footprint up to 70% and water consumption up to 80%.

Solidia promises their technology can be easily adapted using the same construction materials, while reducing costs and improving the performance. Not only does it cost less to produce, it also has a strength of around 10,000 psi and cures in just 24 hours instead of the usual 28 days.

Regardless of what temperature water is used to in the concrete mixture, monitoring the temperature during the curing process is crucial. If the temperature drops too low, the concrete won't set properly or have the same strength. If the concrete is kept to hot, it will cause a decrease in strength and can even lead to cracking. MadgeTech offers a variety of data loggers to help monitoring the concrete curing process. To view all of the solutions to be used throughout the curing process, click here.

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Posted in: News, Blog Posts, Building / Structural, Concrete, By:

MadgeTech Marketing Team