The substance we consume most after water is concrete, with three tons used for every person every year. This isn’t surprising considering its versatility. It’s found in small items like pipes and drains, to larger ones like patios, driveways and sidewalks, to enormous structures like buildings, bridges, and dams. Regardless of the local climate, every city in the country uses concrete.
If you’re looking for concrete contractors then stop by Canwestconcrete.com for experienced professionals as versatile as concrete itself. With multiple offices across Western Canada, this locally owned and operated business provides services like cutting, slab sawing, wall sawing, wire sawing, core drilling, GPR scanning, repair and more. They’re proud to offer excellent customer service and the latest and most well-maintained equipment.
When you think of concrete, you think of a simple mixture of cement and water and may not realize that it has gone through various technological advancements over the years. Here are a few examples.
#1 Rapid Drying Concrete
ARIDUS Rapid Drying Concrete was developed by USC Technologies, Inc. after many years of research and development. This self-desiccating concrete dries so much faster than regular concrete that it allows flooring materials to be installed in less than three months rather than the 12 required by regular concrete. Here are some other advantages of using Rapid Drying Concrete.
- Shortens the construction process
- Can reduce cracking, curling, warping and other expensive issues
- High early compressive strength as compared to regular concrete
- More environmentally friendly
Although the technology can be expensive, many property owners use it for their projects due the cost-saving nature in the long run.
#2 Translucent Concrete
Also known as light-transmitting concrete, this type of concrete is embedded with thousands of optical elements such as optical fiber strands. These fibers go through one end to the other, conducting light and producing a light pattern on the surface. Interestingly enough, this technology was first documented in 1935 on a Canadian patent.
Light-transmitting concrete is used by artists and architects to give traditionally dull things like walls, sidewalks, and pavements an aesthetic appeal. Moreover, it has practical applications like illuminating dark alleys or subways, hence improving safety in bigger cities. It’s also used by some forward-thinking homeowners interested in giving their properties a unique look.
#3 Recycled Concrete
Of late, recycling concrete has become a priority due to pressure from environmentalists. Scientists say that concrete has a large environmental footprint, accounting for as much as 5% of the world’s CO2 emissions.
Recycling concrete helps combat this with lower energy costs, reduced landfill space, and less pollution. Currently, recycled concrete is used almost exclusively in roads and sidewalks, but scientists are testing its load-bearing attributes to see if it can be used in larger structures. So far, they’ve found the recycled version to be stronger than the original in many experiments.
There are some mixed recycled concrete products already available. One such item is BASF’s Green Sense Concrete, a type of high-performance sustainable concrete that uses recycled materials in combination with non-cementitious materials. This highly rated substance was used in the construction of the One World Trade Center in lower Manhattan, New York City.
These are only a few of the technological advancements in concrete. They are helping improve our lives in ways we didn’t think possible by updating a building material in some creative ways. When shopping for a concrete contractor, always ask about their eco-policies to reduce your environmental footprint.