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The Latest Push to Reduce CO2 Emissions from Canadian Concrete Manufacturing

The Latest Push to Reduce CO2 Emissions from Canadian Concrete Manufacturing

The Global Cement and Concrete Association (GCCA) and its member companies across the world have issued the Innovandi Open Challenge, inviting start-ups that focus on efforts to cut CO2 emissions and help solve the climate challenge to limit global warming by finding ways to reduce CO2 emissions in concrete, which currently account for around 7% of CO2 produced globally.

As a first step toward the ultimate goal of net zero concrete, applicants are being asked to work on the development of new components and materials for low-carbon concrete. Currently, there are manufacturing companies in Canada that produce composite materials, which assist in reducing carbon emissions produced in concrete manufacturing. Here's a closer look at how they play a key role in reducing CO2 emissions from the process.

What Roles Do Composite Materials Play in Concrete Manufacturing?

Composite materials, including carbon fiber, play a significant role in the manufacturing of concrete. Here are some ways in which they are used:

  • Reinforcing concrete structures. Carbon fiber-reinforced polymer (CFRP) can reinforce concrete structures such as bridges, buildings, and tunnels. Typically, construction uses CFRP in conjunction with traditional steel reinforcing bars. This enhances the strength and durability of the concrete structure.
  • Improving the properties of concrete. Adding carbon fiber to the concrete mix improves its strength, durability, and resistance to cracking. The carbon fiber also helps to distribute the load more evenly across the concrete, reducing the likelihood of cracks forming.
  • Repairing concrete. Composite materials can repair concrete structures that sustain damage or are in need of maintenance. For example, CFRP can reinforce and strengthen concrete columns or beams that are weak due to corrosion, age, or damage.

In a nutshell, composite materials and carbon fiber play important roles in the manufacturing of concrete, helping to improve the strength, durability, and performance of concrete structures.

How Do Composite Materials and Carbon Fiber Help Reduce CO2 Emissions From Concrete Manufacturing? 

Here's how composite materials and carbon fiber can help reduce CO2 emissions from the manufacturing of concrete.

They Are Lighter in Weight 

Composite materials are lighter than traditional materials like steel. Therefore, using them to reinforce concrete structures can reduce the weight of the structure overall. This means that less concrete is necessary to achieve the same strength and longevity. Thus, reducing the amount of CO2 emissions by producing more concrete.

Composite Materials Have an Extended Service Life

Composite materials can increase the service life of concrete structures. Thus, reducing the need for maintenance and replacement. This means that fewer new structures need to be built. In turn, this reduces the amount of CO2 emissions of concrete production.

Reduced Cement Content 

Adding carbon fiber to concrete can improve its strength. Thereby, allowing for a reduction in the amount of cement needed in the mix. Cement production is a major contributor to CO2 emissions. Thus, reducing the amount of cement in concrete production can have a significant impact on overall emissions.

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