Reinforcing concrete with fibers isn’t a new idea, Volz says. The Roman Empire used hair and straw in their concrete structures and Egyptians mixed straw in clay to make harder bricks. Today short carbon fibers – measuring no more than 1.5 inches – are found in buildings, bridges and slabs to limit the size of cracks. But in the future, Volz says the carbon fibers could be up to 6 inches in length, significantly improving a structure’s ability to withstand blasts, hurricanes and other natural disasters.
“The long fibers will absorb more energy as they pull-out during the pressure wave or impact, cutting down on the potential for failure during an explosion or earthquake,” Volz explains. “The fibers will also significantly diminish secondary fragmentation, reducing one of the leading causes of damage to surrounding personnel and materials. First responders will be able to get to the scene faster because they won’t have to clear chunks of concrete out of their way.”
Previous efforts by other researchers to incorporate longer carbon fibers have failed for two reasons. First, longer carbon fibers are more likely to ball up as the concrete is mixed. Second, it’s difficult to disperse the carbon fibers throughout the concrete.
Coating the fibers can reduce the fibers tendency to form into a ball. The team plans to study a variety of formulas to find a coating that balances between flexibility and rigidity. “A delicate balancing act is required between allowing the fibers to flow easily during mixing yet bond sufficiently with the concrete matrix in the hardened state,” Volz says.
In addition, the team plans to study how a negative electric charge, applied to a polymer coating, could force the fibers to disperse more uniformly during mixing.
Mindy Limback | Newswise Science News
New, forward-looking report outlines research path to sustainable cities
24.01.2018 | National Science Foundation
Magnetic liquids improve energy efficiency of buildings
16.01.2018 | Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena
A newly developed laser technology has enabled physicists in the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics (jointly run by LMU Munich and the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics) to generate attosecond bursts of high-energy photons of unprecedented intensity. This has made it possible to observe the interaction of multiple photons in a single such pulse with electrons in the inner orbital shell of an atom.
In order to observe the ultrafast electron motion in the inner shells of atoms with short light pulses, the pulses must not only be ultrashort, but very...
A group of researchers led by Andrea Cavalleri at the Max Planck Institute for Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) in Hamburg has demonstrated a new method enabling precise measurements of the interatomic forces that hold crystalline solids together. The paper Probing the Interatomic Potential of Solids by Strong-Field Nonlinear Phononics, published online in Nature, explains how a terahertz-frequency laser pulse can drive very large deformations of the crystal.
By measuring the highly unusual atomic trajectories under extreme electromagnetic transients, the MPSD group could reconstruct how rigid the atomic bonds are...
Quantum computers may one day solve algorithmic problems which even the biggest supercomputers today can’t manage. But how do you test a quantum computer to...
For the first time, a team of researchers at the Max-Planck Institute (MPI) for Polymer Research in Mainz, Germany, has succeeded in making an integrated circuit (IC) from just a monolayer of a semiconducting polymer via a bottom-up, self-assembly approach.
In the self-assembly process, the semiconducting polymer arranges itself into an ordered monolayer in a transistor. The transistors are binary switches used...
Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale
Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...
15.02.2018 | Event News
13.02.2018 | Event News
12.02.2018 | Event News
23.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy
23.02.2018 | Health and Medicine
23.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy