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What is self-healing concrete?

May 25, 2016

When we first looked at the innovative creation of self-healing concrete over a year ago, it was still being developed by Bath University. There has since been significant progress with the concrete substance that, essentially, heals itself. So in this month’s article we’ve looked at the recent developments. What actually is self-healing concrete? Self-healing concrete tackles the problem standard concrete has in that it can be vulnerable to cracking, which can quickly lead to major damage in need of costly repairs. The concept focuses on using substances that can change shape when a reaction is triggered – for example, when mixed…

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Top Tips for Concrete Maintenance

July 31, 2015

Concrete is one of the most robust man-made materials for making the exterior of your building, driveways, patios and other structures stunning. However, it normally suffers from being exposed to some elements, so it is advisable to do some maintenance if you want it to stay in good conditions as long as possible. It is therefore important to understand how to maintain your concrete to avoid ugly surfaces and potentially endangering structures. Here are some top tips for concrete maintenance for your home.   Cleaning Cleaning is one of the best steps you can take to keep your concrete looking at…

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The Art of Concrete Engraving

May 6, 2015

Concrete engraving Concrete is the most commonly used building material in the world, but is normally taken for granted. However, an innovative process called concrete engraving is shining new light on this humble material. Concrete engraving is a technique that can transform any plain, grey concrete surface, quite literally, into a work of art. Newly laid or existing concrete surfaces can be engraved, provided the concrete is hardened, or ‘cured’, and clean. Indeed, the cracks and flaws in existing concrete surfaces can be incorporated into the new design, if so desired, so you can embellish your home or business with ripping…

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Top 5 Things You Never Knew About Concrete

March 26, 2015

Concrete is amazing stuff – tough, versatile and relatively inexpensive. Prevalent in all areas of society, concrete is bar far the most common building material on the planet. But here are some fascinating facts that you probably do not know about concrete… Natural Concrete Concrete is not a purely man-made phenomenon! In Israel, in the 1960s, a natural layer of concrete was discovered which has been dated to twelve million years ago. It is believed that oil shale ignited near a limestone area and the result was a naturally formed layer of concrete. Even manmade concrete is not as recent a…

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Innovations in Concrete Construction

February 26, 2015

There have been some notable innovations concerning concrete in recent years. Among them are self-healing concrete, fibre optic concrete and flexible concrete. Concrete That Heals Itself Self-healing concrete may sound like science fiction, but Bath University have come up with an ingenious way in which concrete can heal itself. Namely, utilising bacteria to repair concrete showing signs of decay. Though concrete is a tough material, especially when in combination with iron rebars, it is a material that can still be very vulnerable in certain conditions. Concrete, particularly reinforced concrete, is vulnerable to water, for instance. Just one small crack can soon…

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How Gritting Affects Concrete in Cold Weather

January 29, 2015

If you own a driveway or walkway and live in a climate that grows cold for any period of time, then you will have experienced icing and slippery concrete. The hazard of falling is very real and can be a liability – especially true of business owners. The last thing anyone wants is someone slipping and hurting themselves on the walk. This is why we salt the pavements and driveways, clearing away the ice and creating a safe walking and driving surface. It is necessary to clear ice away, but have you ever thought about the damage you might be doing…

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How to Choose the Right Concrete Supplier

December 22, 2014

Concrete is a far more versatile material than you might think, which is why it is important to know what you are looking for when undertaking a concrete-based project. The type of mix you use, the strength, the colour, the flexibility and the kind of finish you will require, all depend on your application, i.e. what exactly it is that you are hoping to accomplish. If you aren’t into DIY, you will need an expert to help you decide upon the correct concrete to use and is capable of completing the job to a professional standard. But, of course, only you…

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ICF: The Potential Future of Home Builds

October 20, 2014

Though unheard of just a few years ago, it is now not possible to attend a building forum or even watch an episode of Grand Designs without hearing about the benefits of Insulated Concrete Formwork. So we take a look at what advantages this new method of house building provides, and the costs associated with it. What is ICF As an alternative to mainstream blockwork and timber frame, ICF uses Insulated Concrete Forms to provide the very structure of a new build. The initial structure is created using polystyrene moulds or forms which are then filled with ready-made concrete, creating the…

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What is the World’s Largest Concrete Pour?

October 10, 2014

This year has seen a new record set for the largest ever continuous concrete pour, as part of the foundations of the new Wilshire Grand Center hotel and office complex were laid in Los Angeles. Previously, the record has been a contentious subject, with the pour for the foundations of Las Vegas’ Venetian hotel in 1997, recorded as 21,000 m³, and the 2007 pour for the foundation of the Landmark Tower in Abu Dhabi at 20,927 cubic yards, both laying claim to being the largest. Located in LA’s down-town financial district, the Wilshire, at 1,000 feet, will become the tallest building…

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The History of Volumetric Concrete

July 30, 2014

Concrete is the one of the most ubiquitous materials in use by humans today, second only to water, and is the single most important component in construction work across the globe. However, despite being a major feature of the modern metropolitan landscape, concrete is no new invention. In fact, its roots can be traced back to the ancient world, where a number of separate civilizations, including the Babylonians and the Egyptians, combined some manner of bonding material (often clay) and water to form solid building blocks. Concrete in its modern form didn’t appear until the middle of the 18th century, when…

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