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Graphene can replace sand to make stronger concrete

Graphene can replace sand to make stronger concrete

Graphene has been called the “material of the future.” It is composed of light, thin, and solid atoms that conduct electricity and temperature well. It is already present in various things in our daily lives, from electronics to packaging, for example.

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Graphene has already been used in semiconductors, in the production of sponges and even in the manufacture of helmets. Now, it can be important in the construction industry.

At least that's what a new study conducted by Rice University in the United States indicates. Scientists replaced sand with graphene when producing concrete, and the results were encouraging.

More efficient concrete

According to researchers, the material found is:

  • – 25% lighter than concrete made from sand.
  • The material showed a 32% increase in durability;
  • 33% increase in maximum deformation;
  • And 21% in compressive strength.

A scientific article explaining the results was published in the magazine Applied Materials of ACS.

It is worth noting that concrete is made of three main ingredients: water, aggregates such as sand and cement to bind everything together. Sand is the largest element by volume.

In other words, graphene has been used in large quantities in research, and here comes the biggest drawback: the price.

The team explained that graphene is currently too expensive to make this method commercially viable on a large scale.

In addition to the high cost, they are also difficult to manufacture, because they are part of so-called nanotechnology, a scientific process that manipulates elements on a small, sometimes almost invisible, scale.

More about graphene

  • To give you an idea, a graphene sheet is thousands of times thinner than a sheet of paper.
  • At the same time, it is up to one hundred times stronger than sheet steel.
  • This substance has been studied for more than 70 years.
  • However, it has reappeared in the last two decades, due to its application in industry, in addition to the expansion of studies.
  • Brazil is considered a graphene powerhouse, as it has one of the largest graphite reserves in the world, according to information from the US Geological Survey.
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Information is from New Atlas.