Print 26 comment(s) - last by albundy2.. on May 30 at 10:43 AM

Grad student may have discovered economically feasable smart concrete

Most people think of driveways and sidewalks when concrete is mentioned. Concrete is also used as a structural building material in many large buildings around the country. The problem with concrete as a building material is that as it develops cracks, the material becomes weaker.

Researchers are currently investigating ways to make smart materials that can heal themselves from cracks and other minor imperfections as a way to prolong the life of the material and increase its strength. A grad student named Michelle Pelletier from the University of Rhode island has made a discovery that may one day lead to smart materials that are cost effective to produce and easy to use.

Pelletier is a master's degree candidate and has developed a method of embedding microencapsulated sodium silicate healing agents directly into concrete. The idea is that the tiny microcapsules, which hold the sodium silicate agent that reacts with calcium hydroxide naturally in concrete, will rupture when cracks form and release the repairing agent.

When the sodium silicate inside the microcapsules reacts with the calcium hydroxide in the concrete a chemical reaction causes a gel-like material to form that can fill cracks and pores in the area of the crack and hardens in about a week.

"Smart materials usually have an environmental trigger that causes the healing to occur," explained Pelletier, who is collaborating on the project with URI Chemical Engineering Professor Arijit Bose. "What's special about our material is that it can have a localized and targeted release of the healing agent only in the areas that really need it."

Tests of the self-healing concrete have shown that when stressed to near breaking the concrete with the microencapsulated sodium silicate is able to regain up to 26% of its original strength. Standard concrete when stressed to similar levels only regains 10% of its strength. Improvements in the

Another potential benefit of the new self-healing concrete being studied is if by immediately filling cracks in the concrete, water can be prevented from reaching the steel reinforcement bars that are used to add strength to concrete. Water getting to the steel reinforcement bars causes the bars to rust leading to reduced strength.

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RE: thoughts...
By quiksilvr on 5/25/2010 2:02:39 PM , Rating: 5
If marketed correctly, you could even bottle water and sell it to people at insane prices. A dollar for half a LITER! I know it sounds insane, but I guarantee you people will buy it if you put words like "Smart" or "green" or "eco-friendly plastic" on the label.

All kidding aside, this is very easy to market. Imagine selling concrete that doesn't have cracks? Imagine how well hotels can present their building to guests with pristine sidewalks and smooth walls? Imagine the money saved in repairing these cracks? The steel within your buildings won't be at risk to exposure to the environment, which can corrode your precious building.

Believe me, there is a market for it. Just like there is a market for LED lighting and pre-wired prefab homes.

RE: thoughts...
By michael67 on 5/26/2010 3:45:30 AM , Rating: 3
I agree whit you that marketeers are the chum of the earth when it comes to misrepresentation some use of products.

But on the other hand, when applied the right way they can also have real life benefits.

example: LED TV
The edge-light type is just the same as the cold cathode type, gives the same picture (do uses a little less power, but at a mouths higher initial cost)
Back-light type we zone dimming dose improve black lvl's a lot, and have real world benefits.

The technique discuses here, has real world benefits if used for the right implementations, ore (almost) none if use in the wrong place.

Its up to engineers to use it at the right places

RE: thoughts...
By albundy2 on 5/26/2010 6:35:30 AM , Rating: 2
i hate pedants, but your spelling really sucks... sad thing is, you have a brain from what i can decypher from your posts, but when you write like ur txtng it pisses people off and makes it hard to read.

RE: thoughts...
By michael67 on 5/26/2010 7:30:37 AM , Rating: 4
Yeah English is not my main languish and having mild form of dysorthografie dose not help eider
mixing letters (and words) orders when writhing, but its not problem whit reading

RE: thoughts...
By Kurz on 5/26/2010 9:23:38 AM , Rating: 2
Firefox has a built in spell checker.
Its very handy.

RE: thoughts...
By psychobriggsy on 5/26/2010 10:00:41 AM , Rating: 1

RE: thoughts...
By michael67 on 5/26/2010 10:22:48 AM , Rating: 4
Good understandably reading is a handicap to!
mixing letters (and words) orders when writhing , but its not problem whit reading

No spel check helps if its a correct word but the wrong one 0_o

RE: thoughts...
By quiksilvr on 5/26/2010 11:21:43 AM , Rating: 1
Brian: Say TH.
Stewie: TH.
Brian: Now say WIT.
Stewie: WIT.
Brian: WITH.
Stewie: WHIT.
Brian: WITH.
Stewie: WHIT.
Brian: WITH!
Stewie: WHIT!

RE: thoughts...
By albundy2 on 5/30/2010 10:43:30 AM , Rating: 1
my bad, but it's seriously becomming impossible to tell the difference anymore. i know so many people that are completely normal and have no handicaps that are just fucking lazy. they dont even try at all.

then i get to feel like a dick for picking on someone that has a legitimate problem. so i am genuinely sorry for my comment. i am just venting my frustration wit ppl tht talk lik ths. u wnt 2 go 2 teh mal? can b hrd 2 tel wat ur sayn... yaa meen?1111111!1!

"The Space Elevator will be built about 50 years after everyone stops laughing" -- Sir Arthur C. Clarke

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