Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors

Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

Home > News > If walls could speak, they'd say 'innovation'

April 15th, 2008

If walls could speak, they'd say 'innovation'

Concrete is created by mixing cement, water, gravel and sand; typically these ingredients are mixed in a truck at a cement plant. When it arrives at the construction site, ideally the concrete should be like a thick liquid that can be easily shaped into moulds. But sometimes - for instance, the cement truck gets caught in a traffic jam - the concrete is already beginning to set when it arrives at the site, making it difficult to manipulate.

That's where nanotechnology comes in. By controlling the hydration process - the curing of cement into concrete - at the atomic or molecular level, a researcher at the National Research Council's Institute for Research in Construction has found a way to create a more workable concrete. And it has been shown to be a stronger concrete that is less susceptible to cracking.

A controlled-release "superplasticizer" in the cement can work to speed up or slow down hydration. The effect of the superplasticizer is manipulated by adjusting the cement's PH level, as well as other variables, as it cures.

"You can [more] accurately time the hydration process so the concrete will be used at the right time," says Ottawa-based researcher Laila Raki, who is working with a construction chemical company to try to mass market the formula. "In the end, the industry will be able to use a concrete with a longer life span."


Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related News Press

News and information

Halas wins American Physical Society's Lilienfeld Prize: Rice University nanoscientist honored for pioneering research in plasmonics October 23rd, 2017

GTC Shanghai Highlights GF’s Momentum in China: Company shares details of technology roadmap and customer adoption in the world’s fastest-growing market for semiconductors October 23rd, 2017

Nanobiotix completes patient inclusion for Phase II/III trial of NBTXR3 in soft tissue sarcoma October 23rd, 2017

Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals Reports Inducement Grants under NASDAQ Marketplace Rule 5635(c)(4) October 23rd, 2017


Strange but true: turning a material upside down can sometimes make it softer October 20th, 2017

MIPT scientists revisit optical constants of ultrathin gold films October 20th, 2017

Long nanotubes make strong fibers: Rice University researchers advance characterization, purification of nanotube wires and films October 17th, 2017

The secret to improving liquid crystal's mechanical performance: Better lubricating properties of lamellar liquid crystals could stem from changing the mobility of their structural dislocations by adding nanoparticles October 13th, 2017

Interviews/Book Reviews/Essays/Reports/Podcasts/Journals/White papers

Nanotube fiber antennas as capable as copper: Rice University researchers show their flexible fibers work well but weigh much less October 23rd, 2017

A step closer to understanding quantum mechanics: Swansea University’s physicists develop a new quantum simulation protocol October 22nd, 2017

Creation of coherent states in molecules by incoherent electrons October 21st, 2017

Strange but true: turning a material upside down can sometimes make it softer October 20th, 2017


Corrosion in real time: UCSB researchers get a nanoscale glimpse of crevice and pitting corrosion as it happens September 14th, 2017

Here's a tip: Indented cement shows unique properties: Rice University models reveal nanoindentation can benefit crystals in concrete July 20th, 2017

Russian scientists create new system of concrete building structures: Sientists of Peter the Great Saint-Petersburg Polytechnic University developed a new construction technology April 24th, 2017

Next-gen steel under the microscope March 18th, 2017

The latest news from around the world, FREE

  Premium Products
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
University Technology Transfer & Patents
 Learn More
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More

Nanotechnology Now Featured Books


The Hunger Project