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Concrete

— Science

Paint-on "sensing skin" is designed to detect damage in concrete structures

By - July 4, 2014 1 Picture
Although concrete structures such as bridges are now often built with strain sensors embedded within them, that certainly hasn't always been the case. In order to alert authorities to cracks developing within these older structures, one solution involves attaching sensors to them. Researchers from North Carolina State University and the University of Eastern Finland are working on an alternative, however – an electrically-conductive paint-on "sensing skin." Read More
— Architecture

New construction technique allows concrete domes to be "popped up"

By - June 11, 2014 7 Pictures
There probably aren't many domed concrete structures where you live, and there's a reason for that – they're difficult to build. Doing so usually requires the construction of a supporting wooden structure, that holds the concrete in place while it hardens. Now, however, a team at the Vienna University of Technology has devised a system that allows concrete shell structures to simply be "inflated" and cinched together with a steel cable. Read More
— Architecture

Taizhou Bridge awarded supreme structural engineering gong

By - November 22, 2013 24 Pictures
The 2,940-m long Taizhou Bridge has won the Supreme Award for Structural Engineering Excellence at this year's Structural Awards. The event gives the nod to a variety of structures across numerous categories, but it was the three-tower, long-span suspension bridge, the first of its kind, which received the overall "Supreme" gong. Read more about the project and the individual category winners after the cut. Read More
— Home Entertainment

PACO concrete speaker controlled with gestures

By - October 30, 2013 8 Pictures
Visitors to the homes of audio buffs might well be surprised to find weighty blocks of concrete breaking up the living room's otherwise colorful designer decor. These high-end music lovers have turned their backs on the unwelcome distortion and color that can be caused by oscillations of MDF, wood or plastic speaker cabinets, and plumped for drivers housed in concrete. If you can't afford, or don't have room for, large commercially-available floor-standing units like the exquisite N1 loudspeakers from Germany's Concrete Audio, Italy's Digital Habit(s) design house has created a gesture-controlled, Bluetooth-enabled tabletop speaker called PACO, which can be built at home using open source plans, or bought fully assembled. Read More
— Science

Bath University uses bacteria for self-healing concrete

By - June 3, 2013 1 Picture
You’d think that concrete would last forever. After all, it’s pourable stone, so it should hang around as long as the Rock of Gibraltar. But, under the right (or wrong) conditions, concrete decays with alarming speed. To combat this, researchers at the University of Bath in the UK are working on a self-healing concrete that uses bacteria to seal the cracks that lead to decay. In this way, they hope to cut down on maintenance costs and increase the life of concrete structures. Read More
— Environment

Europe joins race to store energy at the bottom of the ocean

By - May 20, 2013 1 Picture
"Imagine opening a hatch in a submarine under water. The water will flow into the submarine with enormous force. It is precisely this energy potential we want to utilize." This is how German engineer Rainer Schramm describes his idea for storing energy under the sea. By using surplus energy to pump water out of a tank at the seabed, the water is simply let back in again when there's an energy shortfall, driving turbines as it rushes in. The deeper the tank, the more power is generated. Read More

Sunflower seed husks provide concrete alternative

Ordinarily seen as a waste product, the husks of sunflower seeds could be used to make concrete, according to research out of Turkey. Not only are the husks a sustainable source of aggregate, it's claimed that the resulting concrete is more resistant to cracking during post-freeze thaws. Read More
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