Snow and ice on roads is an expensive and dangerous problem, not only for cities, but for motorists and businesses. The cities have to pay for a fleet of trucks to dump salt and other chemicals on roads, as well as plow. Motorists get into an increased amount of traffic accidents in poor driving conditions and also have to deal with the after effects of all of that salt destroying the undercarriage of their cars. Businesses suffer legal claims from not being able to keep their sidewalks clear or increased costs from plowing and shoveling.
Because of all those costs, it’s no wonder why scientists have been working on a solution to reduce ice and snow build up on rows. Just recently, we learned about Turkish scientists who developed an additive for asphalt roads that would slowly release to the surface and melt ice. Now, it appears another group of researches want to electrify concrete in order to melt snow.
Professor Chris Tuan, from the University of Nebraska at Lincoln (UNL), has been researching and developing his solution for years and is now close to a breakthrough. Tuan’s electrified concrete is currently being tested by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for use on tarmacs, which, they say, could potentially greatly reduce weather related delays for airlines.
The formula for conductive concrete is pretty simple, it’s 80% standard concrete mixture and 20% metal fiber and carbon particles. Add a little electricity and you’ve got the makings for an ice and snow free surface. The big hurdle that Tuan and his creation will face is cost. Though over time it could save cities tons of money, the initial cost to tear up roadways and re-pour would be extremely cost prohibitive. Tuan’s concrete has actually been used on the 150-foot long Roca Spur Bridge for the past 14 years, since it’s completion in 2002. In total, the bridge has 52 conductive concrete slabs, which Tuan told Phys.org cost $250 in electricity over a three day storm. That $250 is several times less than what it would cost trucks to dump chemicals on the bridge.
It would certainly be interesting to see what else could be accomplished with electrified roads…could they possibly charge electric cars? We could let our imaginations wander for hours, but for right now, Tuan wants to focus on specific areas, like intersections, exit ramps, driveways, and sidewalks.
The story below from WOWT 6 News, includes an interview with Tuan.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has created a lot of jobsite safety rules since its creation in 1971. Some of those rules have become outdated, due to a variety of reasons, or have caused unnecessary confusion for companies due to wording. Earlier this month, OSHA proposed 18 revisions to existing rules, with many affecting the construction industry.
There’s no doubt that drones are the hot technology item for the construction industry. They allow you inspect your overall site more quickly, take aerial photos for marketing and documentation, measure tonnage and volume of on-site stockpiles, and even monitor employee productivity. Now, one company has designed a drone that can safely inspect structures for damage and detect cracks as small as .0039 inches wide (.1mm), when fitted with an HD camera.
The number one goal on every construction site should be that all workers make it home safe at the end of the day. The sad reality is that hundreds of construction workers are killed on the job site every year. Last year, contractors were working on an indoor activity center for a high school in Argyle, Texas, when the 30 foot tall structure quickly collapsed, killing one man in the process.
2016 has been a big year for OSHA, as the organization has raised the cost of fines for safety violations for the first time since 1990. Made, effective in August, fines were raised 78%, making the cost of a serious violation $12,471. The construction industry is by far the most affected by OSHA regulations, as it accounted for 43.3% of all citations, 52.92% of all inspections, and 44.16% of all penalties assessed from October 2015 to September 2016. Of all specific types of contractors, roofing contractors account for the largest quantity of citations (6,924), following by framing contractors (3,810), and masonry contractors (2,501).
One thing’s for sure about Milwaukee Tool, they aren’t satisfied with putting the same tools out year after year. They’re constantly improving age old classics and leading in the innovation of new tool solutions. Their latest announcement is a variation on their extremely popular line of M18 tools.
The weight of dirt is serious business and the force it provides should not be underestimated. Depending on the moisture content, soil can weigh around 2,000 pounds per cubic yard. Many construction workers die each year from trench collapses due to improper shoring and benching techniques, but weight and force calculations are also extremely important in the design and construction of retaining walls.
We have a lot of safety rules in construction and it’s practically impossible to monitor your job site for compliance of every single rule. To complicate matters, many rules are based upon exposure limits, especially when airborne particles are involved. OSHA recently reduced the allowable exposure limit of silica dust, which is found in concrete, stone, and brick, before additional PPE or engineering controls are required. This rule change has caused a lot of grief among construction industry groups, who called the rule technologically infeasible, because what contractor is really set up to measure when 50 micrograms of silica dust per cubic meter of air is actually reached?
In March 2013, Flintlock Construction was building a hotel at a Manhattan construction site known as the 325 Project. OSHA inspectors visited the site and delivered three separate scaffolding violations that added up to a total of $249,920 in OSHA fines. Flintlock Construction immediately filed an appeal and that appeal was heard in July 2015.
There are some things in life that are promised… such as taxes, death, and buying something used that you will later wish you hadn’t. Whether it is a Craigslist flat screen TV or a used car, it is always smart to be slightly wary about used goods.
Hoisting equipment and construction are no different.
Though the venues of the Rio Olympics may look great on camera, the behind the scenes issues that occurred left Olympic officials stunned. It seemed that Rio was behind schedule from the start, which may have fueled some of the job site conditions that resulted in 11 construction workers’ deaths over the course of the project. Even back in 2014, John D. Coates, the Vice President of the Olympic Committee told reporters that Brazil was not ready for the Olympics “in many, many ways” and also called their preparation worse than Athens, Greece in 2004. Brazil was also the host of the 2014 World Cup and 8 construction workers were killed on the job, including 2 that were killed by a collapsed crane at San Paulo Stadium. Zero deaths were reported during the building process for the 2012 London Olympics.