A new low-emission concrete, with the potential to transform the global construction sector, recently made its commercial debut at a former train depot site in Manchester.
It was while attending an ICE Manchester branch knowledge event that a spark was first ignited for me, leading to a key role in the development of a recipe for a more sustainable concrete alternative.
The lecture was held at the University of Manchester’s UMIST campus, in the very same building where I studied civil engineering some 20 years ago. Although it was early days, it was here that I first heard of the potential for graphene to structurally enhance concrete.
Together with Rob Hibberd, we formed Nationwide Engineering and went on to work in partnership with the Graphene Engineering Innovation Centre (GEIC) and continue to do so with many more years of development ahead of us.
Better than traditional concrete
Known as Concretene, the product uses graphene, a revolutionary 2D material, to significantly improve the mechanical performance of concrete, allowing for reductions in the amount of material used and the need for steel reinforcement.
This can reduce CO2 emissions by up to 30%, while at the same time driving down costs, making Concretene a greener and cheaper solution.
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Alex McDermott, director of Nationwide Engineering