Foam concrete is a kind of concrete with lightweight and has ideal strength. Because of the hollow structure in foam concrete, it has the function of absorbing heat and isolating sound.
The density of foamed concrete is 300-1200 kg/m3, and the thermal conductivity is between 0.08-0.3W/ (m ·K).
Foam concrete is widely used in CLC blocks, lightweight partition panels, roof insulation, floor cushion construction, floor heating backfilling, and other occasions.
At the same time, foam concrete is also a good sound absorption material, which can be used in highway sound insulation boards, sound absorption boards, and other fields.
Generally speaking, foam concrete is a kind of building material with multi-function, environmental protection, and economy, which has a wide application prospect.
As a brand-new composite material, ultra-high-performance fiber concrete has recently gained extensive interest. UHPFRC comprises cement, ultra-fine mineral admixtures, short fibers, fly ash, mineral bits and additives. It has the advantages of high stamina, high thickness, high durability, high longevity, etc and good effect resistance. Performance has been widely used in the engineering field.
Due to its excellent properties, ultra-high-performance fiber concrete has a wide range of applications in the engineering field. This section will introduce its applications from four aspects: guardrails, bridges, tunnels and wind power towers.
As a vital facility for road traffic safety, guardrails' anti-collision performance impacts the safety of vehicles and pedestrians. Traditional concrete guardrails have shortcomings such as easy damage, corrosion, and poor impact resistance. Using ultra-high-performance fiber concrete to make guardrails can effectively improve these problems. UHPFRC guardrail has the characteristics of high strength, high toughness, high durability, etc. It can effectively resist effect, anti-corrosion, fire prevention, etc., and has a beautiful appearance and good earthquake resistance.
Ultra-high-performance fiber concrete is increasingly used in bridge construction. UHPFRC can produce lighter, thinner, more durable, and more beautiful bridges while reducing maintenance costs. During the construction process of bridges, UHPFRC can also be used for reinforcement, repair and waterproofing.
As an important traffic engineering facility, tunnels' durability, safety, and economy are all very important. Using ultra-high-performance fiber concrete can create more durable, safer, and economical tunnels. In tunnel construction, UHPFRC can be used for lining, waterproofing, repair, etc.
4. Wind power tower
As a new type of energy equipment, the safety and durability of wind power towers are crucial to the stable operation of wind farms. Using ultra-high-performance fiber concrete can create lighter, thinner, more durable, and safer wind power towers. At the same time, during the construction of wind power towers, UHPFRC can also be used to reinforce and repair connecting parts.
The application and development prospects of ultra-high-performance fiber concrete in engineering are broad. In the future, UHPFRC will have a wider range of applications and higher performance requirements. To meet the needs of different projects, researchers will continue to develop more types of UHPFRC, such as high temperature, high strength, high toughness, self-healing, etc.
Additionally, with the continuous development of technology, the production cost of ultra-high-performance fiber concrete will gradually decrease, and its application in the engineering field will become more popular. At the same time, the green and environmentally friendly characteristics of UHPFRC will also become important factors for its future development. In the future, the application of ultra-high-performance fiber concrete will be further developed in the following aspects:
In terms of technology, future explorers will focus on developing more advanced production processes and equipment while also constantly optimizing the formula and performance of UHPFRC. For example, develop high-performance fiber materials, explore admixtures, and research new concrete additives.
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The specific brick-making process can be divided into two steps. The first step is to place the soil in an elastic container, such as a rubber tube, and the second step is to perform firm compression, such as using a 5 kg hammer to drop from a height of 1 meter. A flat, round soil sample can be compressed.
A structural engineer from the University of San Diego who serves as the project's principal investigator said in an interview that this is significantly different from making building materials on Earth. Typically, soil particles must be mixed with some particular type of binder to remain rigid. Adhesives work like glue to hold materials together. There is a specific chemical component in the Martian soil simulant, which acts like a natural binder and gives the experimental soil strength after being compacted.
He also said that the properties of the Martian soil simulant are still fundamentally different from the actual Martian soil. Still, if the new brick-making technology is proven to be suitable for Martian soil, this will be a piece of good news for anyone who dreams of immigrating to Mars. It is good news. In the future, people will need a lot of equipment to live on Mars. Simply relying on launch and transportation from the Earth will not only be a complicated process but also expensive. People who live farther away from the Earth should depend less on transporting materials; otherwise, they will not be able to develop living space.
In the past, NASA has been planning to return to the moon, so engineers have been looking for ways to turn lunar soil simulants into building materials. Unlike Martian soil, however, lunar soil requires a binder to hold it together. The more adhesive needed, the more cargo has to be shipped from Earth, so the team has been looking for ways to use as little adhesive as possible. In the past, building materials required about 15% binder. Now, through advanced compression technology, only 3% binder content can be used to create strong moon brick materials.
After 2010, NASA shifted its research focus to Mars and found that the same compression mode was also very effective on Martian soil simulants. At first, the researchers found that only 6% of the adhesive could be used to form bricks. Later, in order to test the critical value of the soil for brick formation, the researchers continued to reduce the amount of adhesive and found that the Martian soil itself could stick together. When the iron oxide in the soil is crushed, it breaks easily, creating a clean, flat surface. When the surface is compacted, a high-strength compression-resistant interface can be formed.
Once Martian soil can be used to make bricks, it can be used to build spacecraft landing sites on Mars. However, researchers also pointed out that brick-making is not a complete solution. After all, houses still need to be built on Mars. The research team only made micro-bricks. More giant Mars bricks may not function well, and it needs to be clarified how long the bonding performance lasts. In addition, the particles in the soil bricks will gradually spread into the air. Once the particles are too large, they will cause health problems. The perchlorate contained in the soil bricks also has a toxic effect on the human thyroid gland. Therefore, pressed Martian soil bricks require more research support to understand the risks of use.
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The concrete pouring of the casing of the second unit of Bangladesh's first nuclear power plant took 122 days to complete.
(Image source: Rosatom)
A total of 75 people were involved in the work, 60 of them from Bangladesh, and the final layer required 130 cubic meters of concrete - a total of 1,233 cubic meters was spent pouring the entire dome on a shell 46 meters in diameter and 50 centimetres thick rice. By consolidating the pouring of the last two layers, Rosatom said the whole process was shortened by five days.
The outer shell is a reinforced concrete structure that protects against external threats such as earthquakes, tsunamis, or hurricanes. The internal containment around the reactor building was installed in June 2022, and concrete was poured in May 2023.
Alexey Deriy, Vice President and Project Director of the Construction of the Ruppur Nuclear Power Plant, said: "After the concrete pouring of the reactor shell of the second nuclear power plant is completed, we can start to install the deflectors of the passive heat removal system. We must Prepare the recessed components for installation, modify the sling equipment, and gather the documentation required to lift the passive heat rejection system deflectors using a crane."
In February 2011, Rosatom signed an agreement to build two reactors at Ruppur for the Bangladesh Atomic Energy Commission. The origin contract for the project, worth $12.65 billion, was signed in December 2015. The Rooppur nuclear power plant is 160 kilometers away from the capital, Dhaka, and will be equipped with two Russian VVER-1200 reactors. Construction of the first unit started in November 2017 and is scheduled to be put into operation in 2024. Construction of the second unit began in July 2018. Its initial life cycle is 60 years and can be further extended by 20 years.
The first unit reached the same stage in March 2023, with the concrete pouring of the casing completed. In October, when the plant's first batch of fuel arrived at the Rooppur site, Bangladesh officially became a member of the international "club" of nuclear states.
Improves concrete strength: Air bubbles in concrete reduce its strength and durability. Concrete defoamer can effectively mitigate the bubble content in concrete, thereby enhancing its strength and durability.
Improves the durability of concrete: Air bubbles in concrete make it susceptible to damage when exposed to air and moisture. The application of defoaming agents can effectively reduce the bubble content in concrete and increase its compactness, thereby improving its durability.
Reduce the water absorption of concrete: Air bubbles in concrete will increase the water absorption of concrete and reduce its impermeability. Defoaming agents can effectively reduce the air bubble content in concrete, thereby reducing the water absorption of concrete.
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While Florida's structures are protected from northern freeze/thaw cycles and Florida's bridges do not require the use of salt when removing snow, Florida faces other challenges. Ferraro (a civil engineering researcher at the University of Florida) said we have the largest corrosion laboratory in the world called the Florida Keys, so we have to design our structures more robustly to accommodate this high chloride environment.
However, salty seaside conditions do not automatically shorten the life of a structure. Ferraro evaluated the Miami Marine Stadium after Storm Andrew in 1992 and was amazed by what he found.
"I was amazed at the pristine condition of the steel, the steel underneath the concrete," said Ferraro, who pulled a sample of the stadium, which was strong before the hurricane hit, from a specimen on his office windowsill.
As an expert in hundreds of structural examinations, Ferraro claimed he's seen inadequate building methods that scare him and bad maintenance techniques that make him nervous. For the most part, the condition of a structure depends on its age and just how well it was developed and kept. Usually, he said, frameworks are sturdy, so age and maintenance are 2 significant factors in a framework's performance.
As fly ash sources dwindle and the Earth's supply of materials for making cement dwindles, other sources of these minerals and metals are being investigated.
We have been discussing how to use meteorites or asteroids to obtain minerals from them. We're still a ways away from it, but part of my job is to look at science fiction and stop letting it be science fiction. Until we can catch a meteor and start off-terrestrial mining, we'll just have to figure out how to make materials on Earth more sustainable and durable.
Concrete is a climate change item because it is a carbon dioxide production point source. Limestone, a key ingredient in Portland cement, decarburizes into calcium oxide and carbon dioxide when it is heated to 3,000 degrees Fahrenheit in a kiln. The fuel used to heat cement and the release of carbon dioxide are both climate change concerns.
About 25% to 33% of all industrially produced carbon dioxide comes from the concrete industry. This feels like a massive number until you consider that concrete is the top building and construction product globally, not simply annually but also historically because of its invention.
Considering that we use so much and produce so little carbon dioxide, it's still relatively green.
Emissions could be reduced if Portland cement could be amended with other ingredients. Whenever we can reduce the amount of Portland cement that goes into the Portland cement concrete mix, we can do that.
America is responsible for 2% to 4% of all Portland cement production, while China is responsible for about 55%.
One thing that contributes to concrete's sustainability is its durability. Ferraro points out that once a structure is built, it generally lasts a long time. This is one reason concrete forms the backbone of the world's infrastructure, including the world's largest concrete structure, China's Three Gorges Dam.
The infrastructure ratings released annually by the American Society of Civil Engineers sometimes paint a bleak picture of the state of America's infrastructure. The 2021 transcript shows that a water main breaks every 2 minutes, 43% of highways are in bad or affordable problem, 42% of bridges are at least half a century old, and 7.5% have architectural shortages.
However, increased infrastructure spending will likely change that, with concrete structures - roads, runways, walkways, bridges, levees, seawalls, dams, and drainage systems - meaning more concrete. While concrete accounts for an estimated 8% of global emissions, structures built with concrete often last half a century or more.
Decrease the density of concrete: The frothing agent creates bubbles in the concrete, making the concrete lighter, minimizing the weight of the concrete and minimizing the structural load-bearing lots.
Boost the performance of concrete: Lathering representatives can alter the microstructure of concrete, boost its longevity, weathering resistance, rust resistance and various other homes, and improve the thermal insulation residential properties of concrete.
Saving raw materials: Due to the low density of concrete after foaming, a large amount of raw materials can be saved, thus reducing costs during the construction process.
Convenient construction: Because concrete is lighter after foaming, it is convenient for construction and speeds up the construction.
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