Concrete played a tangible role throughout the modern age, and continues to provide robust support in this era of information & technology. Being a core building material, concrete has helped us realize various architectural marvels while it remained to be a simple mixture of cement, aggregate and water. With the evolution of electronic sensors, new admixtures and cutting-edge construction tools, concrete has also endured an innovative transformation, introducing the world to its upgraded form – Smart Concrete Market.
Over the recent past, smart concrete has emerged as a fix for prevalent drawbacks of conventional concrete. Temperature gradients that caused cracks at early stages of concrete construction have been rendered ineffectual by this innovation. Moreover, the sensory abilities of smart concrete have unlocked new opportunities in the field of civil engineering, particularly towards development of structures that can withstand changing environments for hundreds of years.
Back in 2012, Iran tested the might of smart concrete and deemed it the toughest for showcasing capabilities to cope with bunker-busting bombs, and even earthquakes. Incidences as such, coupled with the factors mentioned below, will play an instrumental role in influencing the dynamic growth of global smart concrete market in the foreseeable future.
Key Aspects of Smart Concrete
Originating from a laboratory experiment, conducted in New York State University back in early 2000s, smart concrete holds the potential to effectively replace conventional concrete and offer an even more robust support to our edifices. By sensing stress or strain, smart concrete has curbed the need for embedding sensors in concrete structures. With proper admixtures, smart concrete offers near-accurate stress sensing abilities. Upon elastic deformation, smart concrete attains its sensing abilities through a reversible change induced in its electrical resistance. With high sensitivity towards stress or strain, smart concrete can also serve a weighing gage.
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Constructing an Adamantine Future with Smart Concrete
Coming to the ground-breaking features, smart concrete has pioneered the materials industry by attaining a high Piezoresistivity, a phenomenon identified as strain-induced change of electrical resistivity. All existing cement-based materials lack this ability, which helps smart concrete attain outright competence. For that matter, the level of Piezoresistivity exhibited by smart concrete is not attained even by polymers, carbons and new age metals.
Smart concrete holds the key to replace the need of embedded sensors, which are troubled with low durability, high costs, structural degradation risks, and limited sensing volume. Numerous research studies on smart concrete have revealed multiple features, indicating that this material has not been evaluated and analyzed to its full potential. Currently, smart concrete can facilitate applications in building security, motion monitoring, traffic monitoring, and bulk weight surveillance. In addition, a room built with smart concrete can also monitor its occupancy in real-time. On the basis of information provided by smart concrete pertaining to the occupancy of a room, supplementary functionalities such as cooling, heating, lighting and ventilation can also be adjusted and improved. Saving energy and lowering power consumption is observed to be the most essential advantage of building a structure with smart concrete.
The future of smart concrete as a benevolent fruit of simple technology is sure to be heuristic and exploratory. More sooner than later, architects of tomorrow will realize that adopting smart concrete will not only improve the lifecycle of constructed structure, but also make them resilient to earthquakes and other calamities. Treading along the global objective of making construction materials greener and ecological, smart concrete is less likely to fail the expectations of future generations.