• Four construction materials that sound too good to be true

    Four construction materials that sound too good to be true

    Source: CONEXPO-CON/AGG 365

    With technology aging and evolving in the construction world, smart infrastructure has become an exciting feature that has added intrigue to how job sites operate. More construction companies have taken a greater appreciation for structural monitoring and safeguarding materials. Even the most basic of materials have been technologically enhanced, with a greater emphasis on green construction to create a safer work environment. These materials sound too good to be true, but they exist, and they work.

    Smart glass

    The implementation of smart glass is shattering the mold within the construction industry and becoming one of the top sustainable building materials on the market.

    Electrochromic glass is a kind of smart glass that changes its properties when encountered with its stimuli, voltage. You can use it to control how much heat or light passes through the glass, which helps regulate temperature. It can be tinted, transparent, colored or opaque, with heat modulation capacity. It can also be used as a modernized type of building glass that can create partitions, skylights or windows.

    With governments worldwide striving for more and more green construction opportunities, smart glass’s market growth is expected to climb going forward, making this a must-have feature.


    Next generation materials such as bio-concrete have the power to “heal” themselves. As far-fetched as it sounds, this could be a blessing for construction professionals for years to come.

    Buildings and structures made from bio-concrete can be healed using bacteria that are able to create limestone on a biological basis, resulting in the formation of seals as well as repairing cracks. Though it is expensive, considering the fact so much money is already being spent to repair roads, sidewalks and bridges, bio-concrete might be a good financial plunge to take.

    This smart version of concrete can help sustain a structure for up to two centuries. With creative applications arising, bio-concrete can also replace more conventional materials in structural and non-structural settings.

    Anti-corrosion technology 

    Anti-corrosion technology such as smart coating and self-healing mechanisms are options being explored more often. This research is as a result of the growing demand for offshore oil and civil construction.

    Zinc-rich primers, epoxies and polyurethanes are common anti-corrosion coating sources currently being used. Construction planners could find anti-corrosion technology useful in helping to reduce maintenance time and costs. In some cases, seawater-resistant stainless steel is being used for a portion of corrosion prevention when building coastal steel structures.

    Shape-shifting metal  

    For skyscrapers, homes and other types of structures, the use of shape-shifting metal can boost their durability.

    Though they change shape over time and withstand a lot of stress, this type of metal is designed to revert to its original form after it is heated or cooled. This function is as a result of the memory sensors it contains. Shape-shifting metal is so resistant that it can protect bridges from both hurricane and earthquake damage.

    Implementation of this material is still in the early phase but has foreseeable, long-standing benefits.

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