Construction

Preparing for winter—hollow silica particles could form the basis of next-generation thermal insulation systems

By Lisa McDonald / November 4, 2022

Hollow silica particles exhibit lower thermal conductivities than current common thermal insulation materials, while also being easier and cheaper to fabricate than state-of-the-art insulating aerogels. Two recent studies demonstrate the work being done to develop stable and scalable hollow silica particle-based composites for next-generation thermal insulation systems.

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Video: First-of-their-kind drones can 3D print in flight

By Lisa McDonald / September 28, 2022

Using additive manufacturing to repair objects in difficult-to-access locations, such as at the top of tall buildings, is not convenient because the 3D-printing equipment cannot be transported there easily. An international team of researchers developed a swarm of cooperative, 3D-printing drones that can print materials for building or repairing structures while flying.

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The future of building: Are bioceramic dome homes the answer to resilient and affordable housing?

By Lisa McDonald / August 16, 2022

With the increasing frequency and severity of natural disasters, architects will need to reconsider how buildings are constructed. California-based startup Geoship claims its bioceramic dome homes are not only disaster resilient but could help combat the affordable housing crisis.

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Video: Heat waves and drought threaten structural stability of French homes

By Lisa McDonald / August 3, 2022

In addition to the health impacts of Europe’s current record-setting heat waves and drought, the weather is leading more houses to experience structural damage as the underlying soil dries and contracts. Subsidence-related damages are a major problem for French homeowners, and insurers and the government have been in talks over how to better handle such damage claims.

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New model clarifies rheological properties of bentonite muds mixed with other clays during drilling operations

By Lisa McDonald / July 8, 2022

During borehole drilling operations, bentonite-based drilling mud mixes with excavated soil materials, which may drastically affect the mud’s rheological properties. Researchers in France developed a phenomenological model to quantify the yield stress of bentonite muds mixed with other clays.

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Structural clay experts unite in Charlotte for networking, tours, and more after a two-year pause

By Greg Geiger / May 20, 2022

More than 100 attendees converged in downtown Charlotte, N.C., May 9–11 to take part in the combined meeting of the ACerS Structural Clay Products Division, ACerS Southwest Section, and Clemson University’s National Brick Research Center.

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Waste not, want not: Reusing glass in concrete for 3D-printed buildings

By Lisa McDonald / May 20, 2022

With sand in increasingly short supply, researchers are exploring alternative materials that can be used in the creation of concrete. Researchers from Nanyang Technological University, Singapore investigated the possibility of replacing sand and gravel with glass waste that would otherwise end up in landfills.

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Electrical conductivity measurements offer nondestructive evaluation of alkali-silica reactions in concrete

By Lisa McDonald / May 3, 2022

Current industry practice for detecting and monitoring alkali-silica reactions in concrete requires destructive extraction and analysis of concrete cores. Argonne National Laboratory researchers explored the potential of using electrochemical impedance spectroscopy for nondestructive evaluation of this reaction instead.

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Video: Glass flood walls prevent flooding while maintaining the view

By Lisa McDonald / April 6, 2022

Flood walls are traditionally made of concrete, but a few manufacturers are exploring the use of glass in flood wall design to maintain views of the surrounding area. See some examples of these glass walls in real-world applications.

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Video: 2021 Brick in Architecture Awards demonstrate brick’s ‘infinite’ design versatility

By Lisa McDonald / March 9, 2022

Since 1989, the Brick Industry Association has sponsored the Brick in Architecture Awards to recognize exceptional uses of clay brick in architecture. The 49 global winners for the 2021 awards include entries spanning the United States, Australia, Canada, and Mexico.

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