A wonder material for construction?
Two weeks ago, Tideway hosted the first industry graphene/cement for underground construction. Graphene was discovered in 2004 and has been called by many a “wonder material”. Some of its properties include: strongest material on earth (200 times stronger than structural steel), thinnest possible material at only one atom thickness, it’s also a perfect electricity conductor and very lightweight. It has already found its way in a number of applications such as advanced electronics, lightweight aircraft fleet and supercapacitors. So you might be wondering how could construction take advantage of this amazing material?
Initial research has shown that graphene materials in cements could yield significant benefits, especially around tensile and flexural strength development and durability performance. What’s very exciting is that it could also be used in a self-sensing capacity for structural health monitoring! There are still a lot of technical challenges to overcome before this becomes a reality though and this is why I decided to focus my 3 years of PhD at Cambridge in developing this exciting material further.
The industry workshop has been very beneficial and brought together a number of industry experts on cementitious materials. The plan now is to test and develop this composite material in the lab further for the next 2 years and if ready to carry out full scale structural trials. If you would like any further information on this research please get in touch with me.
Thanks to ‘The Great Think’ team at Tideway for facilitating this industry first research event!
Research Engineer – University of Cambridge
Mob: 07825 018535