Construction

Smart window technology uses magnetic nanoparticles suspended in fluid to control light, heat

By Faye Oney / February 2, 2018

Most current energy-saving window technology requires electricity to power the windows. But a research team has devised a fluidic window that uses magnetic nanoparticles to control the window to capture solar energy.

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Tobermorite combines with white graphene to make heat- and radiation-resistant ceramic

By Faye Oney / January 26, 2018

Researchers have created a high-performance ceramic composite that is strong, durable, and resistant to heat and radiation. The findings could be useful in industries that require highly functional and durable ceramic materials—such as nuclear power plants, aerospace, and oil and gas industries.

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Video: Self-healing concrete uses fungal spores to fix cracks with calcium carbonate

By April Gocha / January 24, 2018

Using a fungus called Trichoderma reesei, researchers at Binghamton University in New York are developing a self-healing concrete formulation that incorporates fungal spores that remain dormant until a crack forms.

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Aerobricks combine aerogel with brick to form energy-saving, super insulating building material

By April Gocha / January 23, 2018

Researchers at Empa, the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology, have developed better insulating building materials called “Aerobricks”—bricks with internal cavities filled with aerogel granules.

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Video: Solidia Technologies cement cuts emissions and enables concrete that soaks up carbon dioxide too

By April Gocha / January 10, 2018

Solidia Technologies is founded on the concept of using eco-friendly processing techniques to drastically lower the carbon footprint of concrete—watch this video to see how the company makes its carbon-dioxide-absorbing concrete blocks.

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Video: Solar glass blocks generate electricity while insulating buildings

By Faye Oney / January 3, 2018

A collaboration between University of Exeter scientists and a local business has resulted in a glass block product that harnesses the power of the sun. Solar Squared glass blocks can generate electricity while providing thermal insulation to a building.

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Centimeters-thick concrete roof uses steel cables and fabric layer to support unique structures

By April Gocha / October 17, 2017

ETH Zurich researchers have used computational modeling to design an ultrathin concrete roof for that optimizes strength while eliminating extra material and weight.

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Video: This is the first 3-D printed reinforced concrete bridge in the world

By Faye Oney / October 11, 2017

Researchers at Eindhoven University of Technology, in collaboration with BAM Infra, recently completed construction of the world’s first 3-D printed reinforced concrete bridge. The steel cables, added during printing, help prestress the concrete to support loads beyond its weight.

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Looming threat of sand scarcity is masked by mirage of a nearly limitless natural resource

By April Gocha / October 3, 2017

There’s a looming sand scarcity that’s being hidden by the mirage of endless sand supply, according to the authors of a new perspective article published in Science. According to their research, sand scarcity is such an imminent threat that we now need to develop a global sand governance strategy.

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Video: 3-D printed concrete research brings us closer to construction applications

By Faye Oney / September 13, 2017

A mechanical engineering student recently participated in a NIST summer project involving 3-D printed concrete—watch this video to see how the project team tested various cement paste samples to measure viscosity, yield stress, and printing defects.

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