Tiny spheres made of calcium silicate could lead to a greener and more stronger concrete.
Concrete is an extremely popular building material, but its production is resource-intensive. To offer a greener alternative, the team from Rice University replaced the cement commonly used as a binder in concrete with micron-sized calcium silicate spheres that will self-assemble into a solid material that is stronger and more robust than Portland cement. According to the team, the nanosphere-based material is more controllable to manufacture, and could even have applications in bone engineering, insulation and ceramics.
Image: Calcium silicate spheres synthesized at Rice University and packed into a pellet hold together under compression.