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
One of the biggest hassles of site work in construction is the hauling away of spoils. It’s costly and time consuming to bring in truck after truck to take unneeded soil off to an unknown dump site. When Elon Musk and his team, The Boring Company, started digging a tunnel for a HyperLoop system in Los Angeles, they knew there had to be a better way to handle to soil than to haul it away.
Last November, OSHA issued a final rule that would finally allow them to enforce language, which has been in their standards since 2010, requiring construction crane operators to be formally qualified to operate the equipment. The first day of enforcement for that rule had been set for November 10, 2018, but the agency has recently proposed a new rule that would pull back some of the initial requirements.
Each year, Milwaukee Tool invites members of the media to join them at their annual New Product Symposium (NPS). At NPS, the company shows off most of the new tools they will release throughout the year and shares their most exciting news. At last year’s event, Milwaukee previewed that big things were planned for the 2018 show.
Did they deliver? We were in attendance at NPS 2018 just a couple weeks ago to find out. Below are the what we thought were the 7 biggest storylines of the even...
Florida has no doubt had its fair share of strange news stories over the past few years, not only in general, but also specifically in construction. Some have been tragic and scary, like the recent pedestrian bridge collapse that killed several people and a crane collapse that nearly missed several workers. Other stories have been down right strange, like this slow speed police chase led by a man who stole a backhoe.
Finding enough labor to complete jobs has been a problem for many companies in the construction industry over the past few years. Amid a construction “boom” in many areas, general and subcontractors are accepting jobs without enough people to work them, so some have turned to hiring “subs of subs” to supplement their work, a report published by The Tennessean says.
In March, OSHA announced that they would be enforcing their previously delayed beryllium exposure limit for the construction industry on May 11, 2018. The agency has recently confirmed that enforcement date in a memorandum on May 9, 2018.
It’s a tale (tail) as old as time: a horse walks into a construction trench, gets stuck, has to be lifted out of it by a helicopter. The trench didn’t appear to be that deep, so I don’t think OSHA is going to need to get involved with this one.
Last week, Milwaukee Tool hosted their annual media event, the New Product Symposium (NPS), at which they offer sneak peaks of all of the new tools they’ll be releasing throughout the year. The biggest news of the show was the release of their new M18 12.0Ah battery, which uses new 21700 cells and is more powerful and efficient.
South Dakota, home of Badlands National Park and the only mountain with US president's faces carved on the side of it, has landed at #45 on our countdown.
Welcome to another exciting year of Construction Junkie’s Best Construction Podcast competition, 2018 edition. This is our 4th straight year running the competition and this year’s already shaping up to be the best one yet.