8 Concrete Innovations That Will Upgrade Your Future Projects
Concrete is an ancient building material, first used by the Romans 2000 years ago. It hasn’t remained the same over the millennium, however, and today, advances in scientific research and technology are producing new types of innovative concrete that are changing the industry dramatically. It’s important to understand what these new products can do for your business, concrete projects and your homeowners, whether it’s speeding up construction, opening up new design options, reducing the need for maintenance or reducing our carbon footprint.
It is a fact of life that concrete cracks. However, researchers have found that life — in the form of special limestone-producing bacteria — is the key to creating concrete that can heal itself. Calcium and bacterial spores are added to mixed concrete. When this bio-concrete cracks, the bacteria seal the gaps using their own secretions and water.
3-D Printed Concrete
No, 3D printing isn’t just for plastic. With a concrete 3D printer, you can build houses faster and at lower costs, making it especially important for affordable communities. With very little material waste, it is also eco-friendly and, of course, useful for making complex shapes.
A lot of effort is spent to ensure that water is directed off of traditional concrete. Pervious concrete, on the other hand, allows rainwater to flow through into the ground below. Its larger particles create voids for the water to move through.
Graphic concrete technology prints patterns on a membrane and transfers them to precast concrete surfaces. Any pattern can be printed and color can be added. Compared to older methods of adding pattern, this technology is fast and cheap.
Several of these concrete innovations are eco-friendly, but one new form that uses magnesium sulfate not only eliminates much of the carbon production from traditional concrete, but may actually absorb carbon dioxide as it hardens.
Thinking of taking your business interplanetary? Researchers developed this concrete for Martian use solely from materials found on the red planet, but the cheap result — which uses sulfur instead of water — is two-and-a-half times as strong as traditional concrete. Researchers hope to tweak it for use on our planet as well.
Ultra-High Performance Concrete
This recent technology adds fibers to concrete for strength and durability. Fiber materials vary — from polyester to stainless steel. Ultra-high performance concrete is also faster and easier to build with and has a much longer lifespan than traditional concrete.
This innovative material not only cleans itself so that it maintains its light color, but it also cleans the air around it. Chemicals in the concrete use the sun’s energy to break dirt and pollution down into simple components like oxygen and water that float into the air or are washed away by rain.
In this type of concrete, optical fibers are embedded throughout. They act as slits to transmit light from one side of the surface to another. It can be used to beautify structures like partition walls and staircases and can bring light into dark spaces in a home or windowless areas like basements.
Looking For Additional Ways To Upgrade Your Projects?
As your business becomes more complex, integrating newer technologies into your residential construction jobs, you will need to enhance your capabilities in estimating, materials sourcing, training, site assessment, appropriate crew assignment, workflow monitoring, safety checks and more.
SupplyPro GM is cloud-based construction software that enables you to manage residential projects from work order creation through approvals and payments, with visibility and consistency. Feature-rich and built for mobility, this effective contractor and supplier software gives you real-time information and control in every part of your business, so you can increase productivity, profits and builder satisfaction.
Learn more about how SupplyPro GM can help you manage your Concrete business more effectively or schedule a demo today.