Fixing the Cracks -- the Sustainable Way
Repairing and strengthening concrete structures has become a critical issue in Canada. Severe corrosion of steel in concrete, changes in code provisions, and increases in design loads have all created an enormous infrastructure "backlog."
To make matters worse, the production of cement has been found to have negative environmental effects: The production of one ton of cement releases nearly a ton of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. Since repair materials use large amounts of cement, there is an urgent need to develop repair materials that consume less cement and employ large amounts of industrial by-products and wastes.
As Canada Research Chair in Infrastructure Rehabilitation and Sustainability, Nemkumar Banthia is developing innovative and cost effective rehabilitation techniques for our national infrastructure. From crack-free, environmentally friendly, and durable cement-based repair materials to a simple and cost-effective structural strengthening technique that uses sprayed fibre-reinforced polymers, Banthia's materials and processes are being applied to a variety of field demonstrations including bridges, parking garages, buildings, and marine structures.
These and other innovations are not only saving resources at home, but also providing our private sector with an enormous competitive edge in the emerging global infrastructure regeneration market, which is valued at more than $1 trillion.