Concrete and vegetable fibres
The power of nature is stronger than any indestructible material.
This has been confirmed by scientists at Lancaster University’s Engineering department, who have been developing new cement mixes for use in the construction sector.
The research confirms that adding micro-particles extracted from carrots and beetroot to a cement mix can make the material much more resistant, acheiving excellent levels of durability.
The first tests led by the team at the English university show that these vegetable fibres considerably improve the cement’s strength and at a very low cost. In fact, one of the research’s main purposes is to experiment with new combinations of biomaterials to create ecological and eco-friendly products whilst reducing CO2 emmissions and energy consumption.
This new micro-particles mix is not only a vast improvement on current cement production in terms of mechanical and microstructural features, but is also capable of reducing the quantity of concrete needed for its own production. Building with this material will therefore require a lower percentage of cement, allowing carbon dioxide emissions to decrease by 8% on a world-wide basis.
The researchers claim that these cellulose-based micro-particles, produced in collaboration with the Scottish company CelluComp, when mixed with traditional concrete can increase the quantity of hydrate calcium silicate, the main substance which gives concrete its strength and durability. They can therefore improve all cement materials’ performance, including those of expensive resources such as graphene and carbon nanotube.
Sustainability is a very important matter and researchers are making great strides in reducing wastage and the emission of substances that are harmful to both people and the planet.
It is hoped that, in the next few years, changes will happen in most fields to considerably reduce current pollution levels.