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Posted: April 11, 2009
Nanotechnology composite fibres set to bring change to bridge building technology
(Nanowerk News) The Journal of Commerce today carries an article on how composite fibres will fundamentally change bridge building technology:
Composite materials have been with us for a long time.
Mixtures of clay, straw and water have been used to make mud plaster and adobe bricks for thousands of years. Various substances have been added to iron to produce different kinds of steel.
Cement, sand, aggregate and water became concrete.
They are all composite materials.
We reinforced concrete with steel bars, with fibres of glass, carbon or steel, and got an ever-broadening range of composites.
Polymer chemists came along with things we could add to concrete — and the family of composites got bigger.
Materials science has quickly become a much broader field than it was, even 30 or 40 years ago.
Then nanotechnology came along and opened up a whole new field — engineering materials at a molecular level. Nanoscientists became the new stars of material science, but those dealing in more traditional aspects of material science never stopped looking for specialized concrete mixes, for example, or steels engineered for specific tasks.
Now a young Swedish scientist has come up with a new idea in bridge building.
Peter Harryson said that with new bridge-building materials, industrial production methods and an efficient construction process, it will be possible to start using a bridge just two weeks after construction begins.