Sunday Morning Disruptive Tech – Carbon Fibre Concrete Composites

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I haven’t posted a disruptive tech one for a while, not for lack of interest. This one caught my eye though – lots of opportunities for construction of the built environment.

Smart Planet was yet again the source for new technologies, featuring an article on the construction of a bridge in 10 days. The video is worth watching if you have some time.

The basic construction method is a sock of carbon fibre that is inflated and curved to the desired radius in the factory, resin is then used to harden the arch before transporting to site.

Once on site the arches are put in place, the footings are poured and then concrete is injected into the carbon fibre arches. A composite decking completes the bridge and infill is thrown on to complete the job.

The carbon fibre tubes protect the concrete way into the future – increasing the longevity of the bridge, the exoskeleton of carbon fibre does away with steel reinforcement – reducing the risk of concrete cancer and from what I understand the carbon fibre also creates a faster time to strengthening which means the rest of the job can be completed quicker.

Which  got me thinking – cement replacement materials such as potash and flyash increase the curing time of concrete structures in buildings to a degree where the ecological advantages of cement replacements are outweighed by increased construction times. So could carbon fibre exoskeltons be used to increase construction programs, remove the need for steel reinforcement and allow cement replacement materials to be taken advantage of?

 

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