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Concrete


— Materials

Fire-resistant concrete promises safer, cheaper and more efficient construction

By cutting construction time, requiring less equipment and making less noise, self-compacting concrete has a number of benefits over conventional vibrated concrete. But where it falls down is resistance to fire which results in flaking and splitting. Scientists have now found a way to overcome this, by doping the concrete mix with a special polymer that they say better equips it to withstand high temperatures and in turn, maintain the integrity of a structure.

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— Home Entertainment

Pavilion wireless speaker mixes concrete with a copper twist

Unwelcome color, nasty distortion and unnatural reproduction. Those are the kind of annoying qualities that loudspeaker housing made from cheap materials can add to the listening experience. This has led some audio designers to look for a high density and weighty solution to the cabinet vibration problem. Concrete. Though that does perhaps produce images in the mind of boring and ugly monoliths dropping through the living room floor to the basement below, Germany's Concrete Audio and Italy's Digital Habit(s) would beg to differ. Now Los Angeles-based Hult Design is hoping to join the concrete party with a crowdfunding effort aimed at bringing its Pavilion speakers to market.

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— 3D Printing

Berkeley researchers pioneer new powder-based concrete 3D printing technique

3D printing looks set to become very important in architecture, but we've yet to see exactly how the future of large-scale click-and-print construction will play out. A potential step forward comes via a team of UC Berkeley researchers led by Associate Professor of Architecture Ronald Rael, who recently created a free-standing pavilion called Bloom to demonstrate the precision of their powder-based cement method of 3D-printed construction. Read More
— Architecture

Huge new aquarium to form centerpiece of Miami's Museum of Science

An impressive engineering operation has been carried out to create the centerpiece of the new Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Science in Miami. Created in one continuous concrete pour that took 24 hours and 49 minutes, the 500,000 gal Gulf Stream Tank aquarium will be home to a number of deep sea species which visitors will be able to view from both top and bottom. Read More
— 3D Printing

Loughborough University researchers unveil plans to commercialize 3D concrete printing

Following our recent report of a Chinese company printing 10 houses in a day, the potential for architects to essentially click-and-print complex large-scale projects on a regular basis has moved a step closer to reality. This week, the UK's Loughborough University announced a deal with construction company Skanska and architecture firm Foster + Partners to develop and commercialize 3D concrete printing. Read More
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