Researcher Abir Al- Tabbaa and her colleagues at Cambridge University have created microcapsules that act like scar tissues in human bodies. These capsules will be mixed into cement and can ‘heal’ the cracks that appear in the concrete structure. Other research teams at Bath and Cardiff are also working on similar means of producing ‘smart concrete’ that can revolutionize the cement industry in the future.
Concrete is easy to work with: versatile, durable and economical. By taking a few basic precautions, it is also one of the safest building materials known. Relatively few people involved in mixing, handling and finishing concrete have experienced injury.
Outlined below are some simple suggestions - protection, prevention, common sense precautions - useful to anyone working with portland cement and concrete.
During the month of August we have directed our Social Media posts to a number of topics, namely Women in Construction, Do it Yourself exercises with Concrete and Cement/Concrete education. In case you missed them, we are giving you the 5 most popular posts for the month of August.
The TCL Learning Academy was pleased to partner with the NESC Drilling Academy to host our seminar: "Cement Technology for Trinidad Drilling Academy". The seminar took place on Friday 8th August in Ste Madeline. There were 25 drilling students who participated in the seminar that covered the basics of cement and moved into the uses of concrete in the Gas and Oil industry.
Now that we have explained what cement is and how it works, we can begin to move into the processes and machinery involved in the creation of cement. Production of Portland cement begins at the Mayo Quarry where the limestone material is excavated, crushed and transported as slurry to the Claxton Bay plant, where the cement manufacturing process is completed.
Cement may be your career, or your hobby, but it is always important to know your tools! How well do you know your cement ? How does it work? What's in your cement?
Simply put, cement can be defined as a grey powder that is the active ingredient in concrete; the glue that binds the aggregates together upon the addition of water. Cement is therefore the glue of the projects it's involved in. It can be used to hold the parts (bricks etc.) together by simply adding water. For a deeper definition we can state that cement is a hydraulic material made by finely grinding clinker (produced by burning a mixture of iron, calcium, aluminium and silica containing materials) together with Gypsum and other additives such as fly ash, pozzolan and slag. This definition gives us a deeper understanding of the chemical composition of cement; it is hydraulic (hardens under water).
From the definitions we can go on to look at how cement works. Dry cement requires water for the hydration process. Water breaks and creates chemical bonds in the components of cement, creating water resistant and insoluble products. The creation of these products is what allows cement to harden without being returned to its fluid form in the presence of water.
Let us know if this has helped you and/or changed your views on the way in which you define or think of cement. We here at the TCL Learning Academy look forward to exchanging more information on cement, its content and production.