While some might argue that the old ways are the best, the fact is that developments in the construction industry have made it easier and safer to build around the world. The development of new and innovative building materials has allowed architects to better realize their visions, since they make possible more daring structures due to their greater resistance, flexibility and durability. This is a field that develops all the time. If you want to be aware of this, read on to get a list of new construction materials that may well appear in your next big project.
The building materials have been a difficult point since the laws of elasticity were discovered.
Some possible building materials of the future
In recent years, Nanotechnology allowed us to enter the heart of atoms, so we have foreseen not only the material, but also the shape of that material as an essential part of the behavior of materials.
The researchers, from the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering of the university, are looking for the natural world, proposing the use of organic materials such as bones, shells and marine sponges to join the aggregate in concrete.
The research is a new attempt to solve the twin drawbacks of Portland cement: the energy needed to do it and the potential for microcracks over time. The idea arose when the team contrasted the extensive knowledge about the structure of natural materials with the “conjectures” about the internal structure of concrete, so it made sense to use more familiar materials in a “bottom-up” approach to production of concrete. ‘Bone-crete’ is not a material ready to be used yet: it is more a starting point for engineers to change the way they choose the composition of construction products.
Scientists discovered that the xylan polymer, which makes up about a third of the structure of wood, has an unusual shape. This allowed them to study how molecules and cells are organized within the walls of the plant.
There will be no more cracks and repairs, there will be no more leaks, there will be no need to waterproof and there will be no further loss of energy from the cracks.
This concrete has bacteria that repair the material, a self-healing material from within in a similar way to how the human tissue heals after a fracture. The bacteria remain dormant inside the material until the cracks let in the moisture and the bacteria goes into action.
Not set in stone
Given the speed of progress in materials engineering, it is quite possible that all these techniques have been perfected in less than five years. Or even dismissed as obsolete by then. New data is constantly collected, largely thanks to the increasingly refined techniques for finite element analysis.
Nobody can predict the future, and it is quite risky to say that this or that will be the construction methods used within one or two decades. Most likely, we are wrong. But what seems quite true is that whatever it is, we will be surprised by who is not familiar with the subject.
In addition, given the high degree of specialization in the use of materials, a large number of different materials will probably be used even in the smallest construction project, each destined to solve a particular problem.