Concrete is one of the most widely used building materials in the world, but it has some limitations. However, new additives are being developed that can improve the performance of concrete and make it more versatile in a range of applications. Here are the top 5 innovative new additives to concrete:
Graphene is a one-atom-thick layer of carbon atoms arranged in a two-dimensional honeycomb lattice and has excellent mechanical and electrical properties. When added to concrete, it can improve its strength, durability, and water resistance.
Researchers have found that adding small amounts of graphene to concrete can significantly increase its compressive strength, making it more resistant to cracking and deformation. Graphene can also help reduce the amount of water needed for concrete, which reduces the risk of cracking and improves the concrete’s durability.
Phase-change materials (PCM) are capable of absorbing and releasing heat without undergoing a significant change in temperature themselves. When a PCM absorbs heat, it melts and stores the heat energy as latent heat. When the PCM is cooled, it solidifies and releases the stored heat energy back into the environment.
When added to concrete, PCM can help regulate the temperature of the concrete, reducing the risk of cracking caused by thermal stress. This can improve the durability of concrete and reduce the need for maintenance.
Carbon nanotubes are tiny structures made up of carbon atoms that are arranged in the shape of a hollow tube. They have a diameter of just a few nanometers (about 1/50,000th the width of a human hair) and can be several micrometers long. They have a high tensile strength and are very lightweight, making them ideal for reinforcing concrete structures. When added to concrete, carbon nanotubes can improve its strength and toughness, making it more resistant to cracking and deformation.
Researchers have developed a type of bacteria that can produce calcite, a mineral that can be used to strengthen concrete. When added to concrete, these bacteria can help fill in cracks and gaps in the concrete, improving its strength and durability. This type of bacteria can even be used to create self-healing concrete, which can repair cracks and damage on its own.
The use of recycled materials as additives in concrete is becoming an increasingly popular trend in the construction industry. All of these options remove waste from landfills, which increase the sustainability of their use.
Recycled plastic as an additive is a huge area of research. When mixed with cement, the plastic particles help fill the gaps between the aggregate, making the concrete stronger and more durable. Additionally, recycled plastic is lightweight and non-corrosive, which can make it an excellent alternative to traditional additives like steel or fiber.
Using recycled glass as an additive in concrete is another sustainable solution. Recycled glass can add color and texture to the concrete, while also reducing the need for new raw materials.
Recycled steel and wood can also be used as additives in concrete. Recycled steel fibers can help reinforce concrete, making it more resistant to cracking and damage. Recycled wood chips or sawdust can be added to the concrete mix to improve its insulating properties and reduce its weight.