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Recent Reports from the Hardscape Industry


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Light-emitting cement has been developed by Ph.D. Jos? Carlos Rubio of Mexico's University of San Nicolas Hidalgo. To do so, the cement was modified to get rid of the crystal flakes that are an unwanted element in hardened cement and prevent it from absorbing solar energy, which is not the case with this modified cement. Anything built from it can reportedly return the absorbed energy as light for approximately 12 hours a night.


The American Concrete Institute recently released a new guide covering the shotcrete process. Included in the new publication ACI 506R-16 Guide to Shotcrete is information on materials and properties of both dry-mix and wet-mix shotcrete, equipment requirements and selection, composition, qualifications and responsibilities of shotcrete crews, formwork, application procedures, pre-construction trials, types of finishes, craftsman qualification tests, materials tests, and finished shotcrete acceptance tests. https://www.concrete.org/publications.aspx

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Reinforcing rebar with fibers made from various materials has been taking place for years but a recent development has been the use of fibers made from basalt rock. These have the advantage of being nontoxic, not reacting with any components of concrete, having a very high chemical resistance, and being less expensive than other types of reinforcement fibers.


Another new type of cement can be manufactured at less cost with lower greenhouse gas emissions, and produce a more durable concrete according to engineers from Oregon State University, Purdue University and Solidia Technologies, which licensed core technology from Rutgers University. Called carbonated calcium silicate-based cement or CCSC, its early uses are predicted to be for precast concrete products.

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A team of researchers at Singapore's Future Cities Laboratory, an affiliate of the Swiss science and technology university ETH Zurich, is trying to transform bamboo into a viable building material that can be used for applications such as reinforcing concrete. The work involves extracting the fiber from the plant, which is known for its extreme resistance to tensile stress but untreated has many weaknesses as a building product, and creating a composite material.


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BuildWithStrength.com, produced by a coalition of the National Ready Mixed Concrete Association, promotes the benefits of concrete construction, primarily in the low to mid-rise building sector but much of the provided information applies to the landscape sector as well. Besides being a marketing tool you can send customers to, the website has a design center for professionals and is a resource for technical guides, software tools and educational courses. http://buildwithstrength.com/concrete-at-work/


"With Build with Strength we have an opportunity to re-energize the concrete industry and better position concrete products in the construction marketplace... reminding people inside and outside of the industry that no product is as safe, strong or durable as ready mixed concrete." Ted Chandler, incoming NRMCA chairman and president of Chandler Concrete Co., Inc







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Last Updated 04-24-17