Second to water, concrete is the second most utilized material on the planet. In the U.S. alone, concrete forms for sale make up a $37 billion industry that employs over 2 million workers. With 10 billion tons produced each year, concrete is a crucial resource that covers the world with buildings and roads.
However, the cost of this resource is greater than just a financial one. The emissions from concrete production leave behind an immense environmental footprint. Luckily, there is an alternative that doesn’t sacrifice the strength of this reliable resource. Here’s how concrete production is going green.
The Current Process
The mentality of concrete production is not unique to its industry — produce as much product as possible at a small cost, no matter the environmental impact. To form concrete, companies mix gravel, water, sand, and the cheapest fuel available to mix the components at a high temperature. However, this age-old process is releasing carbon dioxide and is accountable for up to 10% of total greenhouse gas emissions.
There’s a Better Way
MIT scientists realized that the amount of emissions produced by concrete production is unacceptable, but they also couldn’t deny the importance of concrete as a resource. Searching for a solution, the scientists investigated the molecular structure of different concrete forms. They discovered that the calcium-silica ratio generally determined the amount of heat needed to strengthen the concrete. The ratios ranged from 1.2-2.2, while the industry standard is 1.7. Through multiple experiments, the scientists concluded that by reducing the standard to a 1.5 ratio, carbon emissions could be reduced by as much as 60%.
No Loss of Strength or Value
The main concern when altering the molecular make up of concrete is compromising its structural integrity. However, the new mix has shown to have an even greater resistance to fractures than the previous composition. The 1.5 ratio structure of concrete is two times more mechanically resistant to fractures than its predecessor.
It’s easy to assume that with a product stronger and greener than traditional concrete, the cost would be higher. But because the ingredients are the same, and only the makeup has changed, the 1.5 ratio concrete forms are being priced very competitively. Buying this specific concrete is easy on your wallet and on the environment.
If you are interested in a stronger and eco-friendly concrete, consider a 1.5 ratio concrete mix. At Forming America, we are committed to helping you make the best concrete forming decisions. We specialize in Symons Steel-Ply forms and accessories, but we also handle other types and brands of equipment. You can contact us, or give us a call at 1-888-993-1304 to learn more.