Construction

Cement is popular . . .

By / February 20, 2009

. . . because, for better or worse, it works and is relatively durable, at least on the scale of lifetimes: The model-derived estimate of the “in-use” cement stocks in the United States is in the range of 4.2 to 4.4 billion metric tons (gigatonnes, Gt). This indicates that 82% to 87% of cement utilized…

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NIST’s ‘VERDiCT’ may double concrete’s lifespan

By / February 15, 2009

(corrected, courtesy of the comments from Dale Bentz, below) The “verdict” is in – engineers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology say they have developed a technique that promises to double the service life of concrete. The soon-to-be patented method is the result of a project called VERDiCT – Viscosity Enhancers Reducing Diffusion…

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Video(s) of the week: ACerS award lectures

By / February 13, 2009

The American Ceramic Society has now posted videos of four lectures presented last October as part of the Society’s annual meeting. Each of the lectures is approximately one-hour in length and presented in a “YouTube” level of quality to provide the most ease in viewing. Each of the lectures is presented by a luminary in…

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SCHOTT solar stairway generates power, pizzazz and savings!

By / February 13, 2009

SCHOTT, one of the world’s largest and most innovative glassmakers, reports the accomplishment of another first – the combination of solar panels and colored glass in the design of a stunningly beautiful stairway facade, integrated into the walls of the firm’s administration building in Mainz, Germany. Designed by German artist Paul Wurdel, the beautiful solar stairway…

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Dow Corning makes multi-billion dollar solar investment

By / February 9, 2009

Dow Corning Corp., known for its silicon-based technology, is betting it can be a major supplier to solar industry via a capital investment of several billion dollars. The investment will include construction of a new plant in Hemlock, Mich., where the firm will begin manufacturing high-purity monosilane, a critical specialty gas central to the production…

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Nanocoated pump seal wins ‘Oscar’ of invention

By / February 9, 2009

Dubbed the “Oscars of Innovation” by the Chicago Tribune, the R&D 100 Awards, presented annually by R&D magazine, are a badge of distinction that identifies a product as one of the most creative and noteworthy inventions of the year. Researchers at Argonne National Lab, aided by two Illinois firms, have captured one of these 2008…

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Virginia Tech students awarded for inventing ‘moon bricks’

By / February 9, 2009

Their invention of lunar brick has earned a Virginia Tech student research team one of only two awards presented in a 2008 design competition sponsored by PISCES, an international research center dedicated to developing new technologies for life in outer space. Part of the University of Hawaii at Hilo, PISCES – the Pacific International Space Center…

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Vitro launches self-cleaning glass

By / February 9, 2009

Vitro SAB, one of Mexico’s largest glass manufacturers, is launching a new line of self-cleaning glass that’s said to improve visibility when it rains. Called “Ecopure,” the line is being rolled out through the firm’s European affiliate, Vitro Cristalglass. Sturdy, colorless and hydrophobic, Ecopure features a proprietary coating on one side that reportedly is able…

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Good vibrations lead to ‘smart’ roads and energy

By / December 27, 2008

Some people think the road to tomorrow’s most practical alternative energy source will be embedded with piezoelectric crystals capable of converting the mechanical strain of on-road vehicles into electrical current or voltage. Haim Abramovich, an associate professor of aerospace engineering at Technion, the Israel Institute of Technology, is one of these thinkers. Testing piezoelectrics in…

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Energy harvesting radio-based detection system unveiled

By / December 19, 2008

Kansas State University and Peregrine Semiconductors are demonstrating a battery-free technology that could improve embedded multi-sensor systems such as those that might be used to detect deterioration in busy bridge. “This type of radio technology may exist in your house, for instance if you have a temperature sensor outside that radios data to a display…

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