It’s been said that graphene is currently the world’s most promising material with a huge impact on strengthening construction materials.
GtM Action is the Kiwi company that has distribution rights for high quality, industrial scale graphene and says it has completed the first phase of testing using locally sourced coarse aggregates, sands and cement.
GtM has been working with aggregate and civil construction companies around the country to understand how graphene interacts with local aggregates and whether the strength advantages that have been proven in the lab can be replicated in less controlled, industrial scale scenarios.
GtM says multiple research studies have shown that graphene enhanced concrete provides up to 59 percent improvement in compressive strength and 33 percent improvement in tensile strength.
Mike Ogle, GtM’s managing director says that they have been able to get similar strength gains using local materials, averaging 31 percent improvement over control tests.
“We have had some failures, but we are now on the right track and understand how to overcome one of graphene’s biggest challenges, which is achieving consistent dispersion throughout a mix. Mix design and accuracy of quantities within a mix are also very important to monitor.”
With concrete manufacturing being such a big contributor to global CO2 emissions, estimated between six and eight percent, being able to remove even 25 percent of materials without affecting strength would be hugely beneficial. For the New Zealand concrete industry this would be equivalent to 23 million trees sequestering carbon over 10 years.
Additional to strength and reducing CO2 emissions there are other benefits graphene brings to the concrete industry. With good mix design these include faster cure rate, reduced water permeation, less rebound for sprayed mortars and reduced micro-cracking and fractures. Some research also points toward graphene enhanced concrete creating an improved barrier for saltwater applications and properties that improve concrete’s fire retardant capabilities.
Working with a prefab concrete manufacturer, C&O Concrete, has enabled GtM to quickly test graphene on a larger scale with batch sizes of up to 1.3 cubic meters. This has enabled quick turnaround of testing in a variety of products from portable shed floor slabs, landscape products and explosive goods sheds. C&O Concrete’s managing director, Stuart Ogle, says his team were able to learn a lot by working with a new advanced Nanomaterial like graphene.
One of the unexpected benefits discovered when working with graphene enhanced concrete was notably improved workability of the end product.
Phase two of testing involves GtM selecting projects that can take advantage of the new and exciting benefits graphene offers New Zealand’s concrete and wider construction industries.
About GtM Action:
GtM has been in the business of helping customers take high tech products and services to local and global markets since 2013. GtM’s focus is on using new technologies in traditional industries enabling step change in productivity, growth in knowledge and wealth creation while minimising waste and detrimental environmental impacts. GtM is the exclusive distributor of First Graphene products to the concrete industry across New Zealand. GtM also supports other industries to understand the benefits of graphene throughout the product design, manufacturing and deployment processes.
More information: www.gtmaction.com.