The World of Concrete is a massive industry event hosted annually at the Las Vegas Convention Center. For those who have never been, it’s an endless sea of exhibitor booths, training sessions, and even a bricklaying competition. Every Year, Concrete Construction Magazine organizes a Most Innovative Product competition for many of the new products that are highlighted at the show.
This year, there were 10 different product categories:
Each category has 3 winners: an industry choice voted on by readers, an expert’s choice, and the editor’s choice. The links are above for each of the categories, but I thought I would highlight a couple of my favorite winners.
Expert’s Choice Business & Technology Winner: SmartRock
Concrete strength testing is all about cylinder breaks, but does it have to be? Not anymore with the SmartRock concrete sensors, which give you real-time monitoring capabilities of concrete temperature, maturity, and strength.
More information about SmartRock in the video below:
Industry Choice Dust Control & Accessories: Guarda Edge Power Cutter
Dust control has been the talk of the town in the concrete world for the past few years and the Guarda Edge Power Cutter is a first of its kind in that realm. Not only does it deliver water directly to the blade to turn dust into a slurry, it also has an integrated extraction hose and shroud to suck the slurry back up, greatly reducing cleanup efforts.
More information on the Guarda Edge Power Cutter in the video below:
Full story: 2019 MOST INNOVATIVE PRODUCTS | Concrete Construction
In September of 2017, OSHA’s new standard on exposure to respirable crystalline silica went into effect in the construction industry. The rule lowered the allowable exposure to the harmful substance to 50 micrograms per cubic meter, a measurement that we’re all familiar with [/sarcasm]. After a full year of enforcement, OSHA is considering making a change to the rule.
Concrete is one of the world’s favorite building materials; it’s strong, simple to mix, and generally widely available. Its dirty little secret has always been centered around one of its main ingredients: cement. To make cement, crushed rock and other ingredients are fed into a kiln that heats the components at temperatures reaching 2,700 degrees Fahrenheit. Those extreme temperatures cause large amounts of carbon dioxide to be released into the air and, combined with the carbon dioxide that’s produced just to burn the fossil fuels to heat the kiln, it makes cement one of the largest producers of greenhouse gases in the world, 5% in total.
Concrete, the construction industry’s building material of choice for hundreds of years, is an extremely tough and durable product. Being such a rigid product, concrete has inherently poor tensile strength, which is its ability to withstand being stretched, as opposed to compressing. This poor tensile strength leads to cracking, which eventually leads to failure. Scientists have been racing to discover the cure to concrete’s cracking problem for years, most notably Henk Jonkers’ bio-concrete, which uses microorganisms to “heal” cracked concrete.
The newest challengers to the material’s flexibility problem are a group of scientists from Nanyung Technological University (NTU) in Singapore. The team calls their product “ConFlexPave” and it not only bends under pressure, unlike concrete, it’s also thinner and maybe even stronger than its traditional brethren.
Concrete, the world’s most widely used construction material, has a giant target on its back and plenty of people want to take a piece of its pie. It’s cheap and strong, which has, so far held off many would-be competitors from getting popular. One of concrete’s major drawbacks and one of its most vulnerable areas is the fact that it’s extremely time consuming and difficult to demolish.
Even though concrete is the world’s most highly used construction material, scientists have failed to understand very important fundamental aspect of the material, until now.
Self-compacting concrete, which does not need to be vibrated to become fully compacted, has many advantages on a job site, such as lower overall costs, faster construction times, no need for a concrete vibrator, and thinner concrete sections. One of the major disadvantages of this type of concrete, however, is that it’s notoriously poor in regards to fire resistance. Traditional concrete solves the fire resistance problem by adding polypropylene (PP) fiber, which allow the concrete structure to stay intact when it comes in contact with fire.
Concrete is great. It’s strong, it’s got a long life, but then, it cracks and everyone is bummed out. Cracking is not only an eyesore, but it leads to structural issues and leaks, among other issues. Back in May, we wrote about a concrete additive that would allow the concrete to “heal” its own cracks and it’s got researchers pretty excited about the possibilities.
Ready mix concrete has been used in construction projects since the first ready-mix factory was built in the 1930s. Since the 1980s, there has been a boom in construction and the use of ready-mix as a building material means that concrete plants have had to work hard to keep up with the ever increasing demand.
If you have ever had to form and pour curbs before you know they can be an absolute pain. Even the extruded curbs have their limitations and come along with a large piece of machinery. The Curb Roller is a new easy solution to the curb problem.
The American Concrete Institute (ACI) has just released a companion guide to the ACI 562-13 Code Requirements for Evaluation, Repair, and Rehabilitation of Concrete Buildings. Aimed at contractors, inspectors, owners, and manufacturers, the guide’s main goal is to provide insight into the interpretations and explain the proper use of the ACI 562 principles.