Cement has been around for a long time, historically since the Ancient Babylonians and Assyrians, whom used bitumen to bind materials together. In modern times, Portland cement has been the leader in the cement industry since it was created in Britain in the mid-1700s. Annually, Portland cement manufactures roughly 76.7 million metric tons of cement in the United States alone. There’s no telling how much they’ve manufactured for China, who has used more concrete in the past 3 years than the US did in the entire 20th Century!
Throughout history, many of the world’s most popular inventions were created by accident, including Sticky Notes, The Pacemaker, and Penicillin. David Stone, who accidentally created his cement alternative as a student at the University of Arizona in 2000, hopes Ferrock will become another example. The cleverly named Ferrock uses “steel dust” left behind by the manufacturing of steel to create an ultra strong binder. Fe is the elemental symbol of Iron, which is in steel. Initial tests of the substance have determined that concrete made with Ferrock has 5 times the compressive strength as concrete and several times the tensile strength. Needless to say, with strength that impressive, the size of concrete columns and beams will be considerably smaller in any building using Ferrock. It could also mean a large reduction in the amount and size of steel rebar necessary, as rebar adds tensile strength to the concrete to keep it from separating and cracking.
While the strength increase alone is quite impressive, even more impressive is the lack of environmental impact. Unlike cement, which creates a ton of C02 per ton of cement manufactured, Ferrock actually sucks up and traps CO2 and uses it to harden the concrete.
The cost and viability of Ferrock is still yet to be determined. A change away from Portland cement would have a huge impact of the economy and the construction industry and Ferrock still needs to prove how it well it can scale its manufacturing.
For more information on this promising product, check out this PBS Newshour special
The following is a guest post written by Laurence Banville, Esq.
Winter is here and with it comes dangerous situations that construction workers don’t have to worry about during warmer weather. Nearly everyone is aware that construction workers should dress warmly in order to prevent medical conditions like frostbite and hypothermia, but what are some of the frequently overlooked risks associated with winter weather?
Sometimes irony just makes a story too hard not to share.
Tracking progress on any jobsite is extremely important for your schedule and budget. But, as the project grows larger, tracking progress becomes that much more difficult. How do you accurately determine the percentage of work that the subcontractors have completed across 10 stories and hundreds of thousands of square feet?
10 years ago, the most computer knowledge any construction company would require of its applicants was a basic understanding of Microsoft Excel or a scheduling software. Now, construction companies are finally getting wise to the fact that project management and document management software like Procore, Bluebeam, and PlanGrid can provide an efficiency boost to their projects. Because of this, many employers now have job openings that require knowledge of their software of choice.
If you’ve never used that specific software, how can you make yourself eligible for that role?
It’s pretty amazing the work that can get done when a lot of resources and money are thrown at one project. Past examples of this include a gigantic sinkhole that was repaired in Japan in just under a week, the complete emergency rebuild of Atlanta’s I-85 overpass that was completed a month ahead of schedule, and this video of 116 excavators working side by side to demolish a 1,640 foot long overpass overnight.
With over 612,000 bridges across the United States a large emphasis must be placed on maintaining and replacing them each year. We’ve been hearing the narrative surrounding “America’s failing infrastructure” for several years now, but there’s still a lot of progress to be made.
At the World of Concrete 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada, Bosch unveiled a world’s first in the form of their 15-Amp Corded GSH27-26 Brute Turbo Breaker Hammer with integrated GPS tracking. While many tool manufacturers have begun adding Bluetooth technology to tools, like Milwaukee’s One-Key and DeWalt’s Tool Connect, there is a limit to what Bluetooth can do. Mainly, the user has to be within about 100 feet of their Bluetooth enables tool to be able to use any of the features.
Construction Junkie has once again been nominated as one of the top construction blogs on the internet and we NEED YOUR HELP to make us #1. Each year, Construction Marketing Ideas organizes a Best Construction Blog competition featuring some the best blogs in the industry. While we’ve come up short of taking the top spot in the past, we think this year is our year.
Concrete finishers smooth and finish concrete surfaces like curbs, floors, and roads. Most are also responsible for cutting control and expansion joints as the concrete hardens. OSHA's new silica dust regulations have added an additional wrinkle to the concrete finishers job, as they are now required to greatly limit their exposure to silica containing dust.
When anyone sees a hard hat, they typically immediate associate it with construction. It’s the ultimate symbol of safety on the job site. We all know we should wear them, but it’s easy to get annoyed with the minor inconvenience that they cause and forget about the extreme consequences that could result if a falling object catches us when we aren’t wearing one.