From using mud and straw to now using 3D printing technology, the construction industry has come a long way in terms of innovation. And looking at the current trends, this pace doesn’t seem to be slowing down any time soon. BUILDTECH® INDIA believes that innovation is the key to thriving in this industry. We take active interest in flowing the latest global trends in this industry and adapting the same to suit our needs. We bring to you today five such technologies that we feel will shape the future of the infrastructure industry.
- Self-healing concrete: Concrete is the single most widely used construction material in the world. Concrete while being cheap and adaptable is also susceptible to cracking and deterioration under various external factors such as climate, temperature etc.
Self-healing cement hence comes as a much-needed solution in this scenario. When a crack forms, the sodium silicate capsules embedded in the cement rupture and release a gel-like healing agent that hardens and fills the void. Prolonging the life of the structure by using self-healing cement for restorative purposes is not only economical but also highly sustainable in the long run.
- Nano-tubes: A nanometer is one-billionth of a meter. That is unimaginably small. Using techniques like electron-beam lithography, scientists and engineers have successfully created tubes of carbon with walls that are only 1 nanometer thick. When a larger particle is divided into increasingly smaller parts, the proportion of its surface area to its mass increases, making it stronger and more malleable. Carbon nanotubes are so light and strong that they can be embedded into other building materials like metals, concrete, wood and glass to add density and tensile strength. Now research is also being conducted on making nanoscale sensors that can monitor stresses inside building materials and identify potential fractures or cracks before they occur.
- Transparent Aluminium: For decades, scientists tried to manufacture material that combined the strength and durability of metal with the crystal clear purity of glass. Today they have finally come close to achieving their goal. Transparent aluminium is made by placing aluminium powder (a mix of aluminium, oxygen and nitrogen) under immense pressure and heating it for days at 2000 degree Celsius. This is then polished to produce a clear glass like material with the strength of aluminium. Currently transparent aluminium is being used by the US military to make armoured windows and optical lenses. It can further be adapted to construct towering glass-walled sky-scrapers that would require less internal support.
- Permeable Concrete: This is an ingenious way to ensure minimum wastage of rainwater. Permeable or pervious concrete is made with larger grains of rock and sand, leaving 15 and 35 percent open space in the pavement. Slabs made of this material is placed atop gravel or other porous base material which lets rainwater settle to the soil substrate underneath. This not only allows the water to permeate but also remains cool in the summer
- Aerogel: Aerogel is made by removing the liquid from a gel. What is left behind is a silica structure made up of 90-99 percent air. Aerogel is almost weightless and can be spun into thin sheets of fabric. In construction, these extraordinary materials exhibit super-insulating properties. In initial tests, aerogel fabric showed two to four times the insulating power of traditional fiberglass or foam insulation
This list is just the tip of the iceberg. The infrastructure industry is rapidly changing. With innovation in technology spearheading this movement. The restoration and renovation segment is growing hand in hand with this growth, finding the need to adapt and adopt these practices into their own operations. BUILDTECH® INDIA takes pride in being an active member of this technological revolution.