Composite materials help solve a lot of problems in many different industries. They help create lighter and stronger aircraft, more compact but reliable structural components, and faster, more fuel efficient vehicles.
Now, researchers are looking at ways that composite materials can help counteract some of the undesirable effects of much needed infrastructure restoration and expansion.
Reducing The Energy And Carbon Needed For Concrete
Concrete makes our infrastructure possible. It’s versatile, reliable, economical, and predictable for creating and sustaining infrastructure.
There’s no doubt it will have a presence in our future, but there are some drawbacks to concrete that materials scientists are working to change. Most notably, concrete requires a lot of energy and creates a lot of carbon emissions in its production process.
Since concrete is so prevalently used around the world as the most common man-made material on earth, these emissions continue to have a big impact.
Image Source: phys.org
Materials Science And Infrastructure Restoration
The creation of a more eco-friendly version of concrete, that’s just as reliable, economical, and versatile could amount to significant reduction in carbon emissions. That means infrastructure could be restored and expanded with fewer environmental consequences.
That’s part of the mission of researchers like Richard E. Riman of Rutgers University, who has been working composites that are lightweight, strong, and can be produced through more eco-friendly, low temperature, low carbon processing methods.
Reduce Temperature And Revolutionize Production
By harnessing low temperature, water-based chemical reactions, Prof. Riman and his team have developed a technology that makes it possible to develop concrete that is less environmentally costly to produce. The concrete composite also has the ability to store carbon dioxide, reducing the carbon footprint by up to 70 percent.
A Future Manufactured From Composites
The low temperature production method that creates the concrete has also been used to produce polymers and ceramics that perform similar to wood, bone, and even steel.
This approach may open new doors for lightweight, low emission materials that automotive, aerospace, and other manufacturers will need to create sustainable and advanced equipment.
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