May 9, 2023

Metamaterial Concrete: Reinventing the Most Widely Used Construction Material

Posted by in categories: energy, engineering, sustainability

Engineers at the University of Pittsburgh are bringing concrete into the 21st century by reimagining its design. Concrete, which has its roots dating back to the Roman Empire, remains the most widely utilized material in the construction industry.

A new study presents a concept for the development of smart civil infrastructure systems with the introduction of metamaterial concrete. The research presents a concept for lightweight and mechanically-tunable concrete systems with integrated energy harvesting and sensing capabilities.

“Modern society has been using concrete in construction for hundreds of years, following its original creation by the ancient Romans,” said Amir Alavi, assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering at Pitt, who is the corresponding author on the study. “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. We believe that we can achieve all of these goals by introducing a metamaterial paradigm into the development of construction materials.”

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