They are developing a type of concrete that conducts electricity to melt ice and snow

The concrete must still get a lot of juice, as we saw with that absorbent version that could solve many problems driving in the wet. Without going to the complication that report a ‘solar road’ or illuminate completely, some researchers are looking for ways to heat the floor or pavement, using the energy that can lead some materials.

We talked to heat the ground to melt snow or ice, and do it just right so that the process is safe. Chris Tuan is a professor of Civil Engineering at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, who has devoted his time to developing a type of concrete that is able to conduct electricity enough to melt the different states in which water having above are.

They are developing a type of concrete that conducts electricity to melt ice and snow

Electric current through a concrete road supposedly safe

We will not find anyone that icy roads are a big problem, and salt or machines accept any special help, as neither are the perfect solutions – it is abused salt and chemicals – or are integrated into the same highway.

This new concrete designed to withstand enough electricity, and is already being tested in places like airports, where such weather conditions cause many delays. There is also a road near the University has a meter testing.

80% of the concrete is composed of a standard mixture, while the rest consists of elements like steel wool and carbon particles, which interact when an electric current is introduced into the final result of the mixture.

Do not give us too many details of the design, but we understand that measures will very quantities, the distribution of the elements, and then how to apply the current. Obviously a source close to the concrete slabs energy is required.

A timelapse four hours in which the system is in action

Best in critical areas

Tuan considered an ideal place to put your material is on bridges, as they are usually frozen space before, to be more exposed to external agents. The solution would go placed at various strategic points, such as points or critical intersections or ramps, so it would not be necessary to cover an entire road.

The price you choose this type of concrete? For Tuan explains that using your system volume, a cubic yard sale for $ 300, compared to $ 120 cost of a conventional concrete.

The current status of the project can qualify as ‘evidence’. The concrete is in the hands of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) – it has been placed in certain areas of airports, never on track – and give a verdict in March this year, to think more important tests.

Just for the road?

According to Tuan, they could try to use in buildings, proposing new features. If the limestone and sand by a mineral called magnetite is replaced, the concrete could protect against electromagnetic waves. Mobile phones do not run.


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