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Self-healing Concrete, HNA Competition, Tracking Trends, and More


On the architecture and design-oriented website, 99% Invisible, Kurt Kohlstedt reports that the secret to the longevity of concrete structures built by early Romans.

Self-healing Concrete Finds Ancient Assistance
On the architecture and design-oriented website, 99% Invisible, Kurt Kohlstedt reports that the secret to the longevity of concrete structures built by early Romans was that the building material's recipe: volcanic ash, lime, seawater and volcanic rock, continued to react over time - creating new minerals that would correct faults in the concrete caused by age and exposure. The exact Roman recipe has been lost but scientists are using the concept in the development of self-healing concrete products, some of which are available today.


Increase in Construction Input Price for Concrete Products
The Associated Builders and Contractors reported that eight of the 11 key construction input prices grew in July including that for concrete products, which though the gain was only 0.3 percent from June, it has risen 2.8 percent in 12 months. ABC chief economist Anirban Basu concludes that, "materials prices will continue to rise during the months ahead... (and) are likely to place additional pressure on construction industry profit margins."


HNA Competition Looking for Participants
The 2017 Hardscape North America Installer Championships competition is now accepting team registrations. The final will be held at HNA on October 19-20. Of the 24 teams tested in a race against the clock and each other, the winners will receive $1,000, an iQ360 14" masonry saw with fully-integrated dust collection plus accessories (valued at $5,348), and a Weber MT CF3 Pro forward plate compactor (valued at $3,600). The second place team will receive $400, and the iQ360 14" masonry saw. The fee is $200 per team.


New Tool to Learn About, and Locate Slag Cement
The Slag Cement Association launched its updated, mobile-friendly website featuring resources and downloadable materials to help the construction community understand the material's different applications and benefits. New features include a case study gallery, a slag cement supplier locator by state, and a life cycle assessment calculator so professionals can evaluate concrete mixtures with and without slag cement. The association also has a monthly newsletter you can sign up for.


Tracking Trends: PICP Applications and Paving Slabs Increase in Popularity
A new study released by the Interlocking Concrete Pavement Institute showed that U.S. sales of concrete pavers and slabs increased 4.3 percent in 2016 compared to 2015. Of this gain, paving slabs registered 13 percent growth while the use permeable interlocking concrete pavement climbed 20.2 percent. And the market share of PICP sales for residential installations was also up.


Less Expensive Process Developed to Produce Concrete-strengthening Additive
Graphene is a thin layer of pure carbon derived from graphite that when added to cement, makes concrete much stronger, hastens the curing time, improves resistance to corrosion, cracks and heat, and helps prevent premature failure. However, the process to make graphene has traditionally been an expensive one. NanoGraphene Inc has introduced a patented production method that allows them to manufacture the material at a low cost. (Photo: NanoGraphene Inc.)


New Rule that Reduces Silica Dust Exposure Is Set to Begin
On Sept. 23 in most states, OSHA will begin enforcement of their regulation that the amount of silica that workers can be exposed to over an eight-hour day can be no more than 50 micrograms per cubic meter of air. This is a decrease of 200 micrograms from the previous limit. The agency has put together a resource to help employers meet this mandate.

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April 20, 2018, 1:21 pm PDT

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Last Updated 04-19-18
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