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Greening the World’s Most Ubiquitous Building Material

Concrete is one of the oldest building materials with a history dating back to ancient Egypt. Today, concrete – comprised primarily of water, aggregate and cement – is the most widely used material in the world. Despite being a fairly low-impact material environmentally speaking, creating concrete still takes energy; thus the wide deployment of the material is reflected in its significant carbon footprint. In response, the industry is beginning to pursue more eco-friendly versions that would help curb energy requirements, and they’re using supercomputers to do it, according to an article in HPCwire.

As part of a recent study, scientists from the the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), the University of Strasbourg and Sika Corporation ran advanced simulations on Department of Energy supercomputers to explore methods for achieving less energy-intensive concrete mixtures.

One approach is to augment the mixture with alternative materials like fly ash, but this requires supplementation with expensive chemical additives. There is a push to customize these chemical additives to facilitate the use of alternative materials, ultimately producing a quality cement product that maintains desirable flow qualities all while using less energy.

Studying how particles and fluid interact and behave is mathematically and compute-intensive, requiring sophisticated simulations and the computing power to run them.

Read the entire article from 23 january on HPCwire’s website

Energiaskor 2015-02-02


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