CO2-Based High Strength Sand Bricks: Trends In Green Technology



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Necessity is the mother of all inventions.

That statement could not be vindicated in any better way. Following the recent disastrous events in Japan, the earthquake, the tsunami and the nuclear leaks, an astounding invention was made in response to the dire need to re-construct houses and other buildings. The new technology not only provides a quick, cheap and environment-friendly substitute to conventionally used concrete bricks, it also guarantees longer-lasting and sturdier construction.

A Japanese construction company, TIS & Partners has come up with a revolutionary technology, which promises to change the construction world forever. The new brick they have invented is made of sand, using CO2 and other cheap and readily available materials. It involves relatively simpler technology and the bricks are apparently more than twice as strong as concrete within a day of manufacturing.

The bricks are made of commonly available sand or silica, which is hardened by adding CO2 along with a binding agent, like epoxy resin or urethane, which provides the necessary strength. Since the bricks themselves are around 2.5 times as strong as concrete, the amount of steel reinforcement required is greatly reduced, lowering the overall cost, resources and construction time. Thus, this is the perfect construction material for disaster-stricken areas in need of shelters. Since the resulting buildings are claimed to have a 50 year life-span, the technology can just as easily replace mainstream construction materials. The materials and infrastructure required as so easily available in any major city, that rehabilitation of disaster victims would be a matter of a few days once transportation routes are cleared.

In addition to being cheap, easy to manufacture and long-lasting, these bricks use up a lot of CO2, and are being seen as a great way to dispose of materials like dry ice or solid/frozen carbon-dioxide used for refrigeration and sequestration of CO2 emitted by other sources like industries and power-generation plants. Thus, the sand-bricks could play a major role in controlling global warming as well.

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