Carbon concrete – from research to real life

Concrete has been in use for over 2,000 years and is today the most widely used construction material around the globe. For more than 100 years, it has been reinforced with steel – before that, iron. Steel is susceptible to corrosion, however, and can cause major damage. In a project only recently awarded by the President of the Federal Republic of Germany, research is being conducted on an alternative to steel reinforcement – carbon reinforcement.

Reinforced concrete is an excellent composite material. It is used for the construction of buildings, roads, bridges, tunnels, and many other structures. Conventional structural steel can corrode, however, thus causing considerable damage, the effects of which are frequently reported in the press. To prevent corrosion, the steel is enclosed by a concrete cover several cm thick. Nevertheless, the lifespan of the structures is usually far below expectations. In addition, the large amounts of material used are associated with a correspondingly high consumption of resources and energy.


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