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Is Civil Engineering Suitable For Girls?

This question has been raised again and again whether girls should do civil engineering or not. I am still not able to understand why people think girls are not suitable for civil engineering. In fact, in my opinion girls can and should do civil engineering. Many people say Civil engineering is field engineering and girls would have difficult time in working with labor class and would face numerous other site problems. But why those people forget that civil engineering is not limited to only field engineering, in fact its one of the broadest field of engineering. Girls can opt for office jobs like analysis, designing, tendering, managing projects and many other office jobs.

So if you think you have the will power to enter this male dominant engineering, just do it. Don’t let others decide your future, if you want to be a civil engineer just go for it. In future you surely can opt for off-site jobs if you think on-site jobs are a bit difficult due to surroundings or circumstances.

On a personal note, I did my civil engineering and in my class also we had 3 girls who opted for civil engineering. Two out of three are well placed in office jobs where as third one has opted for a project management in construction diploma. So if you have the right attitude and strong will power just join this branch and prove to this world that girls are no less than boys and can do wonders if provided with right kind of opportunities.

We at engineeringcivil.com wish best wishes to all of you and hope to read your success stories in near future.

Ductal- A Stronger Concrete

What is Ductal?
Few Years back in 2006; researchers at Iowa State University have developed a new type of concrete that is much stronger than conventional concrete. It can withstand pressures up to 595,000 pounds — more than the weight of seven semi trucks.

A new kind of concrete called Ductal that might allow bridges to hold more weight and last longer. Although it is 10 times more expensive than traditional materials but stronger and virtually impermeable, helping bridges become more durable.

The researchers conducted a load-bearing capacity test using a 71-foot beam made out the new concrete. They applied increasing amounts of hydraulic pressure to the top of the beam to see how much it could withstand before breaking. It finally broke with a loud pop at 595,000 pounds. The ultra-high performance concrete is made from sand, cement, water and small steel fibers. Standard concrete uses coarser materials. The new concrete is specifically engineered to include finer materials and steel fibers, making it denser and stronger.

We are extremely thankful to Dr. Varenyam Achal for sharing  this research on our site and thus helping civil engineering students.

What is Biocement?

It’s safe to say that without microbes, biotechnology would be an extremely limited science. Microbes are microscopic organisms such as fungi (which include yeasts), bacteria and viruses. They not only provide the foundation for much of the basic research involved in biotechnology, they help to create durable building materials and structures.

The early scientific study of microbes concentrated on their effects, such as causing disease. Eventually, scientists discovered microbes could be used for the study of processes which are common to all living organisms. An innovative alternative approach lies in the combined use of microorganisms, nutrients and biological processes naturally present in the subsurface soils to effectively improve their engineering properties. Considerable research on carbonate precipitation by bacteria has been performed using ureolytic bacteria. These bacteria are able to influence the precipitation of calcium carbonate by the production of an enzyme, urease (urea amidohydrolase, EC 3.5.1.5). Calcium carbonate precipitation occurs as a consequence of bacterial metabolic activity that raises the pH of the proximal environment.

Recently I discovered and improved few bacterial species which were able to precipitate calcite at higher rate and eventually this process lead to improved compressive strength, reduced permeability and low corrosion rate of reinforcement.
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Cuore Concrete – Nano Silica

A long time used material in concrete is for the first time fully replaced by a nano material.It is well known in physics and chemistry that a well designed and developed nano material produces better and cheaper cost results than traditional materials, thanks to the stabilization and reinforcement of matter properties at this level: a thousand fold smaller than the older level: “micro” (0.000001 mt).

Micro silica has been one of the world’s most widely used products for concrete for over eighty years. Its properties allowed high compressive strength concretes; water and chemical resistant concretes, and they have been part of many concrete buildings that we see nowadays. Its disadvantage, though, has been its relatively high cost and contamination, which affects the environment and the operators’ health. As micro silica, as a powder, is thousand fold thinner than cigarette smoke. Operators must take special precautions to avoid inhaling micro silica and not to acquire silicosis, an irreversible disease.

In the middle of 2003, a product which could replace micro silica seen the contaminant effects, having the same or better characteristics and at a reasonable cost was on the design table. The goal: silica fulfilling the environ-mental regulation: ISO-14001.

Using tools from physics, chemistry and recent nanotechnology advances, the challenge was fulfilled.Lab tests and production tests proved that the nano silica did not contaminate (because its state), but it also produced better results than micro silica, and a litre bottle of the product was equivalent to a barrel full of micro silica, extra cement and super plasticizing additives.

Because of its innovation the nano silica was tested for over a year in the world’s largest subterranean copper mine to prove its long term characteristics. Cuore concrete takes care of the environment, the concrete and the operators´ health. It is the first nano product that replaced the micro silica.Cuore concrete surpassed the expectations of its design and gave concrete not only the high initial and final resistance but in addition, plasticity, impermeability, minor final cost of work, and cement savings of up to 40%. Also, it lowered the levels of environmental contamination.

In addition, a liter bottle of Cuore concrete equals a whole barrel of micro silica, extra cement and super plasticizers. If before a 2 meters thick beam was required to hold a bridge correctly, now only 75 cm are required. If before 28 days were necessary in order to achieve compressive strengths of 80MPa, now only 1 day is required. The pre stressed beams that before required 3 days to be ready and needed to be cured with water and steam , now require only 1 day and they do not need water.

Moreover, Cuore concrete became one of the first indicators of the properties that the next commercial nano cements in the market will have: nano particles of silica turn into nano particles of cement (nano cement) in the chemical reactions that take place in the concoction of the concrete, Thanks to all these advantages, the entrance of nano silica Cuore concrete into the market modified the concept of what is possible and what is not in the concrete field.

Since 2004, the greatest copper underground mine of the world, has been using nano silica concrete and the use of the micro silica in this deposit has been prohibited.

Properties of concrete with Cuore concrete nanosilica

• In high compressive strengths concretes (H-70), Cuore concrete is 88% more efficient than micro silica, added to concrete and super plasticizers. ( For an average 9,43 Kg. of Cuore concrete Nanosilica, 73Kg. of all the others additives are used).

• The production cost of is drastically lower than using the traditional production method or formulas.

• It has an air inclusion of 0% to 1%

• The cone test shows that It preserves the cone shape for more than one hour. (with a relation of H2O/Cement=0.5, adding 0.5% of Nano silica of the metric volume of the cement used, it conserved a its circle shape of 60 cm for two hours, with a lost of only 5%). The nano silica has a plasticity that has been compared to the policarboxilate technology. Therefore the use of super plasticizing additives is unnecessary.

• High workability with reduced water/concrete levels, for example: 0,2.

• Easy homogenization. The reduction of mixing times allows concrete plants to increase their production

• Depending on the cement and the formulations used for concrete (tests from value H-30 to H-70), shows that the material provides compressive strengths between 15 MPa and 75 MPa at 1 day; 40 MPa and 90 MPa at 28 days and 48 MPa and 120 MPa at 120 days.

• Nano silica fully complies with ISO 14001 regulations regarding the environment and health. It preserves operators of the danger of being contaminated with silicosis and does not contaminate the environment.

It successfully passed all the tests and since the beginning of this year it is being commercialized in different parts of the world.

Immediate benefits for the user

1) Cessation of contamination caused by micro silica solid particles.

2) Lower cost per building site.

3) Concrete with high initial and final compressive and tensile strengths.

4) Concrete with good workability.

5) Cessation of super plasticizing utilization.

6) Cessation of silicosis risk.

7) High impermeability.

8 ) Reduction of cement using Cuore concrete Nanosilice

9) Cuore concrete nano sílica on itself produces nano cement.

10) During the moisturizing reaction of the cement, the silica produces CSH particles, the “glue” of the concrete ensuring the cohesion of all the particles.

11) Cuore concrete has a specific surface near to 1,000m2/gr (micro silica has only 20m2/gr) and a particle size of 5nm to 250 nm.

As a consequence of its size, Cuore concrete produces nano cristals of CSH, filling up all the micro pores and micro spaces which where left empty in traditional concrete production.
Former described function reinforces the concrete structure on levels, thousand times smaller then in the case of traditional concrete production. This allows the reduction of the cement used and gives the compression needed to reduce over 90 % of the additives used in the production of H-70 concrete.

Cuore concrete allows to save in between 35% and 50% of the used cement.We do stress that we recommend to change the formula of the concrete in order to take advantage of the characteristics of the Cuore concrete Nano silica particle.

Less material is needed to obtain better results, using Cuore concrete.

The results are the proof.

1) Resistance to compression from 40 to 90MPa in 1 day.

2) Resistance to compression from 70 a 100 MPa (or more) in 28 days.

3) Versatile: produces high resistance even with low addition (1 to 1,5 % of the cements weight) and gives self compacting characteristics with higher proportions (2,5 %).

4) Meets the norms of environmental protection (ISO14001).

5) 70% less use of additives as traditional silica, super plasticizers or traditional fibres.

6) Equal or minor raw material cost as in traditional ??production with super plasticizers, and or fibres.

This useful information is submitted to us by : Pascal Maes

Low Cost Housing

Low Cost Housing is a new concept which deals with effective budgeting and following of techniques which help in reducing the cost construction through the use of locally available materials along with improved skills and technology without sacrificing the strength, performance and life of the structure.There is huge misconception that low cost housing is suitable for only sub standard works and they are constructed by utilizing cheap building materials of low quality.The fact is that Low cost housing is done by proper management of resources.Economy is also achieved by postponing finishing works or implementing them in phases.

Building Cost
The building construction cost can be divided into two parts namely:
Building material cost : 65 to 70 %
Labour cost : 65 to 70 %
Now in low cost housing, building material cost is less because we make use of the locally available materials and also the labour cost can be reduced by properly making the time schedule of our work. Cost of reduction is achieved by selection of more efficient material or by an improved design.
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