What is Concretene?
Together with Graphene Engineering Innovation Centre (GEIC) at The University of Manchester, Nationwide Engineering has created Concretene, a graphene-enhanced concrete.
Concretene has been designed for use in the construction industry for cementitious products, in particular concrete, to provide a viable CO2 reduction technology that can be easily adopted internationally into the industry with minimal change to existing processes.
What is graphene-enhanced concrete and why do we need it?
- The main goal for stronger concrete is to significantly reduce CO2 associated with concrete, reinforcement and transportation
- Globally, concrete is the most widely used building material, accounting for 8-10% of global CO2
- If the concrete industry were a country, it would be the world’s third-largest CO2 polluter, behind only the USA and China
- Concretene is a graphene-enhanced admixture that can be used in >99% of concretes worldwide
- Concretene influences the hydration process and enhances the microstructural development whilst curing
How it works
Liquid concrete sets into its solid form through chemical reactions known as hydration and gelation, where the water and cement in the mixture react to form a paste that dries and hardens over time.
Graphene makes a difference by acting as a mechanical support and as a catalyst surface for the initial hydration reaction, leading to better bonding at microscopic scale and giving the finished product improved strength, durability and corrosion resistance.
Crucially, Concretene can be used just like standard concrete, meaning no new equipment or training is needed in the batching or laying process, and cost-savings can be passed directly to the client.
As little as 1kg of Concretene in 10 tonnes of concrete drives down emissions by:
- Enabling up to a 30% reduction in the volume of concrete required
- Elimination or reduction of steel reinforcement
- Reducing cement content of the concrete by up to 50%
Performance gains include:
- Significant improved early tensile shear capacity
- Rapid early compressive strength gain
- Reduced porosity and permeability enhancing
durability, water and fire resistance
- Longer lifespan & reduced maintenance
- Concretene reduces the overall construction costs for projects by 10-20% through material and prelim savings
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- The Graphene Engineering Innovation Centre is a £60m facility at The University of Manchester, opened in 2018 and dedicated to the commercialisation of graphene and other advanced materials.
- Graphene was first isolated at the University in 2004 by two Russian scientists – Andre Geim and Kostya Novoselov – who subsequently won the Nobel Prize for Physics in 2010 for their work on this new material.
- Apart from being incredibly strong, graphene is also flexible, see-through and highly thermally and electrically conductive, leading to numerous technological and engineering applications, from anti-corrosion coatings and advanced telecoms to new treatments for cancer.