Building greener structures is the wave of the future. Although we’ve discussed the merits of building greener with concrete, we focused on more traditional concrete mixes. Recently, however, researchers at Universiti Teknologi MARA in Malaysia developed an innovative type of concrete called “green mix” concrete. Although the material is new, it could be manufactured for widespread use sometime in the near future.
Manufacturing Green Mix Concrete
Green mix concrete is still designed and created using conventional materials. However, some of these materials are partially replaced with suitable waste and recycled components to achieve higher performance and increased sustainability. In addition, green mix concrete utilizes materials such as fly ash, recycled concrete aggregates and aluminum can fibers (for reinforcement).
Fly ash is a waste byproduct from coal power plants. It is commonly disposed of in ponds and landfills. When incorporated into green mix concrete, though, it has the potential to replace cement, thereby reducing pollution from cement plants. Similarly, crushed concrete used as aggregates reduces the consumption of raw materials and decreases waste from demolished concrete structures. Finally, aluminum fibers come from aluminum cans, which can be easily and ecologically processed to be used as reinforcement.
The Benefits of Green Mix Concrete
When considering a switch to green mix concrete, it is clear that the material has many benefits. For one thing, it is more environmentally-friendly and cost-effective than traditional mix concrete. Also, the new concrete is 30 percent stronger because it is designed for strength and long-lasting performance. Furthermore, it has lower cement and carbon footprint per unit of concrete produced, recycles industrial byproducts targeted for landfills and has the potential for commercialization by providing developers and contractors with an alternative concrete that meets green building standards.
The formula for green mix concrete is in its early stages and still needs to be perfected. This material would do a great deal to help the environment while building durable, long-lasting structures. We hope someday we will be able to see more people using it.
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