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Carbon concrete is a sustainable construction material produced from concrete and carbon fibers or bars. The carbon is incorporated into the concrete through mesh-like textile mats placed between its layers or as randomly or uniformly dispersed fibers throughout the concrete. Carbon fiber improves the tensile strength of concrete to a great extent.
Carbon bars can also be used to reinforce fine grain concrete to produce high-strength carbon-reinforced concrete. Since carbon concrete is stronger and lighter than conventional concrete, it can be used to construct aesthetically appealing buildings. It is suitable for sustainable, resource-saving, less material-intensive, and lighter construction.
Methods to Produce Carbon Concrete
- Carbon fiber can be randomly distributed throughout the concrete to produce carbon concrete.
- Mesh-like textile mats produced from carbon fibers can be placed between layers of fine concrete.
- Carbon fibers can also be distributed throughout concrete with nozzle process in a targeted manner. In this way, the tensile strength of concrete is enhanced.
- Carbon bars are used to reinforce fine concrete to produce high-performance carbon-reinforced concrete.
- Carbon does not rust which is a great concern in reinforced concrete. So, a thick concrete cover is not required for corrosion protection.
- It increases concrete strength by five to six times compared to reinforced steel.
- Carbon fibers can be produced from any substance that contains carbon.
- The life span of carbon is significantly longer than reinforced steel. In Germany, the life service of bridges made from reinforced steel is around 40-50 years. However, the life span of the Albstadt bridge, which is constructed from textile-reinforced concrete, is around 80 years without the need for much rehabilitation.
- Carbon concrete is four times lighter than conventional concrete, allowing for delicate and aesthetically pleasing designs like the building shown in Figure-2.
- It releases half of the embodied carbon emitted by conventional concrete. This is because carbon concrete reduces the consumption of construction materials.
The biggest challenge for carbon concrete is its high production cost of around 20 EUR/kg compared to 1 EUR/kg for reinforced concrete production.
However, this does not reflect reality because carbon concrete reduces the material usage by up to 75%, lowering the project's total cost.
The strength, longevity, and corrosion resistance of carbon offset the extra cost spent on production.
Carbon concrete is produced from concrete and carbon fibers or bars. The carbon is added to the concrete as mesh-like textile mats between its layers or as randomly or uniformly dispersed fibers throughout the concrete. Carbon fiber improves the tensile strength of concrete greatly.
Carbon concrete is five to six times stronger than conventional concrete.
Carbon concrete is stronger and much lighter than concrete, in addition to its corrosion resistance characteristics. These led to a thinner concrete cover and smaller concrete elements. So, the overall utilization of materials is reduced.
1. Stronger and lighter than conventional concrete
2. High durability
3. Reduce embodied carbon
4. Reduce material consumption
The major disadvantage of carbon concrete is its cost of production which is mostly offset by material reduction, high strength, durability, low weight, etc.