6 Building Materials of the Future

These futuristic building materials will change the way we construct buildings in the years to come.

1. Graphene

Graphene is a one-atom thick layer of carbon.  It is thin, strong, flexible, conducts electricity, and is virtually transparent.  Researchers won the 2010 Nobel Prize for Physics for developing graphene.  It’s potential uses include solar cells, touchscreens, aerospace materials, desalination technology, and more efficient transistors.

2. Super waterproof material

A material made up of tiny cones not only repels water, it can stand up to extreme changes in temperature, pressure, and humidity.  The water droplets bounce off, carrying dirt with them, making the material antibacterial.  Can be used as a coating for boat hulls, medical devices, windshields, and steam turbine generators.

3. Aerographite

Made from hollow carbon tubes, this material is strong but bendable, stable at room temperature, and able to conduct electricity.  It can be compressed and returned to its normal size while becoming stronger, not weaker.  The material can also withstand a lot of vibration.  Can be used to make lighter batteries, air/water purification systems, aviation materials, and satellites.

4. Protective material

A material made up of rubber and glassy layers only 20 nanometers thick can stop a bullet in its track, then close up around the bullet, encasing it in the material.  When the material is struck, it liquefies to disperse the energy, then hardens to close the entryway.  According to researcher Ned Thomas, “This would be a great ballistic windshield material.”

Material melts as bullet enters and closes up on itself

5. Self-healing concrete

Concrete with bacteria mixed in is able to seal cracks as they happen.  The bacteria is activated by water, and produces calcite, a component of limestone, that fills the crack completely.

6. Lightweight material stronger than steel

Researchers have developed a honeycomb-type material that is less dense than water and as strong as some forms of steel.  This is the first time scientists have been able to produce a material that exceeds “the strength-to-weight ratio of all engineering materials, with a density below 1,000 kg/m3,” according to researchers.

Source: Business Insider

Photos and Videos: The University of Manchester, BroohavenLab, Tommy LaVergne, Totally Concrete Club, Karlsruher Institute of Technology


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