In their 112 year history, the American Concrete Institute (ACI) has been steadfast in their commitment to furthering engineering and technical education, certification and training programs. The development of standards for design and concrete construction has been centered on consensus-based standards and leading technical resources.
Concrete repair and recycling dominated the conversation at the recent Spring Convention in Milwaukee last week. Achieving a better, lightweight concrete by using recycled glass and repair solutions for columns damaged by Alkali Silica Reaction (ASR) were some of the exciting innovations being discussed.
Risk Management is still a strong influencer for decision makers within the concrete industry, and understanding what makes a solid, reliable test report was of great interest to many attendees. Industry professionals are also realizing the importance of durable concrete, as sustainability takes a front seat in building objectives. Water is the catalyst of almost all other damaging substances to concrete structures, and it is important to understand how to waterproof concrete effectively. This is perhaps why the foyer presentation on the subject of preventing corrosion in concrete was so popular among attendees.
Devastating concrete failures in concrete infrastructure is gaining momentum as tax payers are fed up with the continued failure to manage risk. As industry leaders in the construction industry continue to see an uptick in infrastructure investment, they are also experiencing an increase in higher quality building requirements with a focus on sustainability.
Researchers have been working towards developing concrete that has the ability to perform at a higher level. This includes concrete with built in ‘Smart’ components, some of which allow concrete to repair itself when and where it needs it. Smart Concrete has already begun to revolutionize the way concrete structures are built, and opens up the doors to countless new innovations that can work within customized Smart Concrete systems.
The advent of Smart Concrete is fitting, as the next ACI Convention in Philadelphia is promoting the theme of the ‘Evolution of Revolutionary Concrete’. The idea of Smart Concrete will continue to grow with increased research throughout the globe and leading associations, like the ACI, planting the seeds for technological innovation to blossom.