A team of researchers at the University of Pittsburgh has re-engineered the concept of concrete for modern-day applications. Engineers have designed metamaterial concrete for the development of smart civil infrastructure systems.
A metamaterial is any material engineered to have a property that is elusive to naturally occurring materials. The research introduces the use of metamaterials in the creation of concrete, providing the option to alter its brittleness, flexibility, and shapeability to allow builders to use less of the material without sacrificing strength or longevity.
The study related to the research – Multifunctional Nanogenerator-Integrated Metamaterial Concrete Systems for Smart Civil Infrastructure was published in the journal Advanced Materials.
According to researchers, the use of concrete in construction is followed for hundreds of years since its original creation by the ancient Romans. “Massive use of concrete in our infrastructure projects implies the need for developing a new generation of concrete materials that are more economical and environmentally sustainable, yet offer advanced functionalities,” said Amir Alavi, assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering at the University and the author of the study, in a news release. The team plans to achieve these goals by introducing a metamaterial paradigm into the development of construction materials for advanced use-case scenarios.
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