Couldwell Concrete - 50th Anniversary Banner

Study looks at how to replace sand in concrete

11th February 2024 by Sean Couldwell Concrete 0 comments

Rice University in Texas has conducted a study on replacing sand with graphene.

The global trend towards urbanization has resulted in an increased demand for concrete flooring in both residential and industrial settings. Sand is a crucial component of concrete production, and the current rate of sand mining exceeds natural replenishment rates, leading to a potential environmental crisis. To address this issue, experts at the university decided to test whether the material could be replaced for the production of concrete.

Initial tests using graphene aggregate in concrete have yielded positive results as the mechanical properties of the new material are identical to those of traditional concrete, but 25% lighter. The lead author of the study at Rice University, Paul Advinula, reports that these findings demonstrate how well graphene can function as a replacement for sand.

The graphene was made from coke using the flash Joule heating method, which allows for large-scale production. Yet despite its potential benefits, producing concrete made with graphene remains costlier than traditional methods. Advincula says that it may be some time before the costs associated with utilizing graphene are reduced to a level that is more financially viable.

Concrete flooring consists of a blend of cement, gravel and sand, with sand representing approximately 30% of the mixture. In recent years, concrete usage has surged threefold to over 50 million tons per year. This trend is projected to persist in the future. The Rice University study and other research endeavours present potential solutions for using alternative materials that can generate high-quality concrete, before the world’s available sources of sand are depleted.

Taged in
Related Posts