Concrete with graphene: the holy grail of architecture
One of the greatest desires of all architects -both in the old age and nowadays- is for their pieces to last over time. To achieve that goal, said pieces must be made of materials that are resistant to the influence of the seasons and, of course, the passage of time. Well, that material that seemed to be as unattainable as the holy grail is already on the table: the concrete with graphene.
To help you understand the concept and its importance we must explain what graphene is. It’s a material of remarkable strength. In fact, tests have demonstrated that it’s 200 times more resistant than steel and some even compare it with diamond. That means that this material is both resistant to wearing and heavy loads. So far, everything sounds great but there is more.
It happens that the lightness and resistance of graphene makes it a material whose applications can be used in areas such as architecture and engineering. As if that wasn’t enough, it’s five times lighter than aluminum, besides being a great conductor of heat and electricity. So, considering that list of qualities, can you ask for more? Well, yes you can.
The magic combination with concrete
Recently, scientists of the Center for Graphene Science at the University of Exeter in England, have added concrete to the list of things that can be improved by graphene. For that purpose, these scientists have developed a new technique to incorporate this material into the production of concrete with the assistance of nanoengineering.
The result? A material that is not only twice as strong as the concrete we currently have in the market, but also one that has drastically reduced the carbon footprint in relation to conventional methods for concrete production. So yes, it is strong and green as well.
According to the creators of the process, this innovation will change the industry of architecture and construction forever. Regarding this subject, Monica Craciun, professor of engineering at the University of Exeter, said that the resulting material is not only stronger and more durable, but also water-resistant in areas that require maintenance work and are difficult to access.
“However, perhaps the most important aspect is that by including graphene we can reduce 50 percent of the amount of materials necessary to make concrete, which in turn implies a significant reduction of 446 kilograms per ton of carbon footprint,” she added.
The scientists of the University of Exeter also said that this unprecedented range of functionalities and properties discovered constitutes an important step to promote a more sustainable and environmentally-friendly construction industry globally. All that means that soon we’ll have a world filled with greener buildings.