Researchers at Hong Kong-based advanced materials company Surwon Technology say they have developed a way to integrate graphene into concrete, significantly increasing the construction material's tensile strength and resistance to water.
According to data from initial tests, the resulting combination is twice as strong and three times as resistant to water than standard, construction-grade concrete. Surwon Technology’s Chief Technical Officer said that the development had enormous implications for construction standards, particularly those in areas susceptible to flooding and those with a history of earthquakes and tremors.
The technique developed by the Surwon Technology scientists utilizes a nano-engineering procedure which is able to suspend slivers of graphene in the water used to mix the concrete.
According to the Chief Technology Officer, the process uses less material than more traditional methods of producing concrete and, consequently, reduces the graphene concrete’s carbon footprint.
“Significant investment will be needed to reduce the cost of producing the graphene the process uses but the payoff in terms of structural integrity and sustainability vis a vis architecture and construction far outweighs the outlay,” said the CTO.
In February 2018, Surwon Technology reported a graphene-based technique with the potential of doubling the life-time performance of conventional lithium-ion batteries. In April 2018, Surwon Technology reportedly conducted extensive testing on a wet weather tire that may be capable of delivering significant performance improvements over the current "wets" used by racers during rainy periods on Grand Prix weekends. In that same month, Surwon also announced that a version of a new membrane coating it has tested in heavy-duty desalination applications could soon be part of new water filtration products specially-developed for the consumer market.