'Self-cleaning' concrete could keep buildings looking new

Building materials that clean themselves could save immense time and labor in homes and businesses, as well as reduce disease risk in settings such as hospitals. Now, researchers reporting in ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces ...

A more sustainable material to reinforce concrete structures

The next generation of ultra high-performance fiber-reinforced concrete (UHPFRC) has just been created at EPFL. The new material will be used to strengthen and to extend the life span of bridges and other structures—both ...

New quick-fix wrap can repair and reinforce existing structures

By protecting concrete pillars with a ready-to-stick wrap developed by Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore) and JTC, existing structures can be easily repaired and reinforced to extend their lifespan. ...

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Concrete is a construction material composed of cement (commonly Portland cement) as well as other cementitious materials such as fly ash and slag cement, aggregate (generally a coarse aggregate such as gravel, limestone, or granite, plus a fine aggregate such as sand), water, and chemical admixtures. The word concrete comes from the Latin word "concretus" (meaning compact or condensed), the past participle of "concresco", from "com-" (together) and "cresco" (to grow).

Concrete solidifies and hardens after mixing with water and placement due to a chemical process known as hydration. The water reacts with the cement, which bonds the other components together, eventually creating a stone-like material. Concrete is used to make pavements, architectural structures, foundations, motorways/roads, bridges/overpasses, parking structures, brick/block walls and footings for gates, fences and poles.

Concrete is used more than any other man-made material in the world. As of 2006, about 7.5 cubic kilometres of concrete are made each year—more than one cubic metre for every person on Earth. Concrete powers a US $35-billion industry which employs more than two million workers in the United States alone.[citation needed] More than 55,000 miles (89,000 km) of highways in the United States are paved with this material. Reinforced concrete and prestressed concrete are the most widely used modern kinds of concrete functional extensions.

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