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Civil Engineer Blog
Civil Engineer and Civil Engineering Student Blog

Easy Tips That Make Hiring Builders A Breeze
If you’re having work done on your house, getting builders in can be very stressful. You are investing a lot of money into something that could be risky, and you are putting your trust into people you may not have ever met.  To avoid difficulties and to make sure everything goes to plan, there are […]
Investing in Real Estate? Don’t Forget To Do a Home Inspection
Investing in real estate is a significant purchase. As such, you need to be prepared to invest wisely. Real estate can be an excellent way to start your investment portfolio. If you are a little more seasoned in the world of real estate investment, you may be aware of the pitfalls and benefits of this […]
Floor Sanding: 7 Tips for Sanding Your Wooden Floor
Planning on sanding your wooden floors? Make sure you do the job right. These seven tips will leave you with floors that are perfectly finished. Remove Molding Before You Sand If possible, you’ll want to carefully remove molding before you start your sanding project. You can reinstall the molding after the project is finished. The […]
Vital Home Restoration Advice Everyone Must Read
Whether you’ve purchased a property in need of some repairs or simply let yours deteriorate, it is vital that you undertake certain restoration jobs. Failure to cover the essentials could mean that you encounter more serious problems further down the line. Nobody wants a home they own to become uninhabitable, and so you need to […]
How to Make Your Home Self-Sufficient
Image Source  It isn’t just hippies and environmentalists who are deciding to become more self-sufficient. It’s now a realistic option for all kinds of people. If you want to eliminate your carbon footprint, or just want to stop relying on companies and utility providers, self-sufficient living might be for you.  It’s a big step to […]

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Civil Engineering News -- ScienceDaily
Civil Engineering News -- ScienceDaily
Civil Engineering News and Research. From new mathematical models for building better structures to new corrosion-resistant composites, read all the latest discoveries in civil engineering here.

Searching for new bridge forms that can span further
Newly identified bridge forms could enable significantly longer bridge spans to be achieved in the future, potentially making a crossing over the Strait of Gibraltar, from the Iberian Peninsula to Morocco, feasible. The new bridge forms -- identified by a team of researchers from the University of Sheffield and Brunel University London, working with long span bridge expert Ian Firth of engineering consultants COWI -- use a new mathematical modelling technique to identify optimal forms for very long-span bridges.
Scientists use artificial neural networks to predict new stable materials
Artificial neural networks -- algorithms inspired by connections in the brain -- have 'learned' to perform a variety of tasks, from pedestrian detection in self-driving cars, to analyzing medical images, to translating languages. Now, researchers are training artificial neural networks to predict new stable materials.
Programmable materials: Hydrogels capable of complex movement created
Researchers have developed a process by which 2-D hydrogels can be programmed to expand and shrink in a space- and time-controlled way that applies force to their surfaces, enabling the formation of complex 3-D shapes and motions.
Nano-sandwiching improves heat transfer, prevents overheating in nanoelectronics
Sandwiching two-dimensional materials used in nanoelectronic devices between their three-dimensional silicon bases and an ultrathin layer of aluminum oxide can significantly reduce the risk of component failure due to overheating, according to a new study published in the journal of Advanced Materials led by researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Engineering.
Engineers protect artifacts by graphene gilding
Gilding is the process of coating intricate artifacts with precious metals. Ancient Egyptians and Chinese coated their sculptures with thin metal films using gilding. Scientists inspired by this ancient process, have added a single layer of carbon atoms, known as graphene, on top of metal leaves -- doubling the protective quality of gilding against wear and tear.
Decoupling stress and corrosion to predict metal failure
The research challenges the traditional viewpoint that the simultaneous presence of stress and a corrosive environment is a requirement for SCC and demonstrates that stress and corrosion can act independently.
Algorithm accurately predicts how electromagnetic waves and magnetic materials interact
Engineers have developed a new tool to model how magnetic materials, which are used in smartphones and other communications devices, interact with incoming radio signals that carry data. It accurately predicts these interactions down to the nanometer scales required to build state-of-the-art communications technologies.
Physics model acts as an 'EKG' for solar panel health
Researchers have created an algorithm using the physics of panel degradation that can analyze solar farm data from anywhere, essentially as a portable EKG for solar farms.
Engineered sand zaps storm water pollutants
Engineers have created a new way to remove contaminants from storm water, potentially addressing the needs of water-stressed communities that are searching for ways to tap the abundant and yet underused source of fresh drinking water. The mineral-coated sand reacts with and destroys organic pollutants, providing a way to help purify storm water percolating into underground aquifers, creating a safe and local reservoir of drinking water for parched communities.
Humanmade mangroves could get to the 'root' of the problem for threats to coastal areas
With threats of sea level rise, storm surge and other natural disasters, researchers are turning to nature to protect humans from nature. Using bioinspired materials that mimic mangrove trees, they are creating mangrove-like structures that can be used for erosion control, coastal protection, and habitat reconstruction. Structures like seawalls are expensive to build, raise environmental concerns, and obstruct the natural landscape. The prototype they have developed is scalable, smaller, simpler to use and cost effective.
Novel process to 3-D print interconnected layers of 2-D graphene
Previously, researchers could only print this material, known as graphene, in 2D sheets or basic structures. But engineers have now 3-D printed graphene objects at a resolution an order of magnitude greater than ever before printed, which unlocks the ability to theoretically create any size or shape of graphene.
Texas A&M team's pic of crack in the act could prevent engineering failures
In work that could help prevent the failure of everything from bridges to dental implants, a team has taken the first 3D image of a microscopic crack propagating through a metal damaged by hydrogen.
Steps to keep buildings functioning after natural hazards
After an earthquake, hurricane, tornado or other natural hazard, it's considered a win if no one gets hurt and buildings stay standing. But an even bigger victory is possible: keeping those structures operational. This outcome could become more likely with improved standards and codes for the construction of residential and commercial buildings, according to a new report.
Researchers turn tracking codes into 'clouds' to authenticate genuine 3-D printed parts
A team has found a way to prove the provenance of 3-D printed parts by embedding QR (Quick Response) codes in an innovative way for unique device identification. The researchers describe converting QR codes into 3-D features so that that they neither compromise the part's integrity nor announce themselves to counterfeiters who have the means to reverse engineer the part.
Autonomous gene expression control nanodevice will contribute to medical care
Researchers constructed integrated gene logic-chips called 'gene nanochips.' These self-contained nanochips can switch genes on or off according to the environment, where photo-reprogramming of the logic operation by UV irradiation is possible. Moreover, the researchers completed proof-of-concept experiments using artificial cells that produced the diagnostics and reactants (the desired RNA and protein) in a confined nanochip, suggesting the potential of autonomous nanochips in future medical prevention and care.
World's first-ever 4D printing for ceramics
A ground-breaking advancement in materials research by successfully developing the world's first-ever 4D printing for ceramics, which are mechanically robust and can have complex shapes. This could turn a new page in the structural application of ceramics.
Novel sensors could enable smarter textiles
A fabric coating with thin, lightweight and flexible pressure sensors that can be embedded into shoes and other functional garments, sensors that can measure everything from the light touch of a finger to being driven over by a forklift. And it's comfortable to boot!
Most wear-resistant metal alloy in the world
A materials science team has engineered a platinum-gold alloy believed to be the most wear-resistant metal in the world. It's 100 times more durable than high-strength steel, making it the first alloy, or combination of metals, in the same class as diamond and sapphire, nature's most wear-resistant materials.
When mixing granular matter, order among disorder
Researchers find mixed and non-mixed regions among tumbled granular particles, providing a new understanding of how sand, concrete, and paint mix.
Researchers use green gold to rapidly detect and identify harmful bacteria
Researchers have developed a method to screen and identify harmful or antibiotic-resistant bacteria within one hour using a portable luminometer.
Seed coats could lead to strong, tough, yet flexible materials
Inspired by elements found in nature, researchers say the puzzle-like wavy structure of the delicate seed coat, found in plants like succulents and some grasses, could hold the secret to creating new smart materials strong enough to be used in items like body armor, screens, and airplane panels.
Mass timber: Thinking big about sustainable construction
The Longhouse, a prototype 'mass timber' building designed by students, demonstrates that even huge buildings can be built primarily with wood.
Nanotube 'rebar' makes graphene twice as tough
Researchers have found that reinforcing graphene with embedded carbon nanotubes makes the 2D nanomaterial more than twice as tough as pristine graphene.
Old mining techniques make a new way to recycle lithium batteries
Using 100-year-old minerals processing methods, chemical engineering students have found a solution to a looming 21st-century problem: how to economically recycle lithium ion batteries.
Researchers turn powerful, viscous disinfectants into breathable mist for the first time
A team of researchers have developed a device that diffuses potent disinfectants for airborne delivery. The device works on a range of disinfectants that have never been atomized before, such as Triethylene glycol, or TEG. The team used the device to atomize disinfectants onto environmental surfaces contaminated with bacteria and showed that it eliminated 100 percent of bacteria that commonly cause hospital-acquired infections.
Better way found to determine the integrity of metals
Researchers have found a better way to identify atomic structures, an essential step in improving materials selection in the aviation, construction and automotive industries.
A domestic electron ion collider would unlock scientific mysteries of atomic nuclei
The science questions that could be answered by an electron ion collider (EIC) -- a very large-scale particle accelerator -- are significant to advancing our understanding of the atomic nuclei that make up all visible matter in the universe, says a new report.
New application of blue light sees through fire
Researchers have demonstrated that ordinary blue light can be used to significantly improve the ability to see objects engulfed by large, non-smoky natural gas fires -- like those used in laboratory fire studies and fire-resistance standards testing.
Detecting damage in non-magnetic steel with the help of magnetism
Magnetic test methods are used to detect damages to materials, which was previously impossible with non-magnetic steel. Researchers have now developed a process in which they apply a thin magnetic layer to steel. Changes in the microstructure can thus be detected by changes in magnetic effects. Materials such as aluminum can also be tested in this way.
Cold wave reveals potential benefits of urban heat islands
Researchers have found that the urban heat island effect -- cities are hotter in the summer than their surrounding areas -- also helps keep cities warmer during extreme cold. The findings have implications for urban planners in areas such as New York City or Chicago, which experience marked seasonal temperature swings.
Eagle-eyed machine learning algorithm outdoes human experts
Researchers have trained computers to quickly and consistently detect and analyze microscopic radiation damage to materials under consideration for nuclear reactors. And the computers bested humans in this arduous task.
A social tool for evaluating the environmental impact of residential buildings
for the first time, an open-source computing tool can, simply and intuitively, calculate the CO2 emissions in each phase of a building project, in order to obtain a global picture of its carbon footprint from its conception and to help decide every variable in the construction process.
Biological signalling processes in intelligent materials
Researchers are developing innovative biohybrid systems with information processing functionality.
AI technology could help protect water supplies
Progress on new artificial intelligence (AI) technology could make monitoring at water treatment plants cheaper and easier and help safeguard public health.
Close-ups of grain boundaries reveal how sulfur impurities make nickel brittle
Engineers have shed new light on a scientific mystery regarding the atomic-level mechanism of the sulfur embrittlement of nickel, a classic problem that has puzzled the scientific community for nearly a century. The discovery also enriches fundamental understanding of general grain boundaries that often control the mechanical and physical properties of polycrystalline materials.
Electronic stickers to streamline large-scale 'Internet of things'
Researchers have developed a new fabrication method that makes tiny, thin-film electronic circuits peelable from a surface. The technique not only eliminates several manufacturing steps and the associated costs, but also allows any object to sense its environment or be controlled through the application of a high-tech sticker.
How gold nanoparticles could improve solar energy storage
Star-shaped gold nanoparticles, coated with a semiconductor, can produce hydrogen from water over four times more efficiently than other methods - opening the door to improved storage of solar energy and other advances that could boost renewable energy use and combat climate change, according to researchers.
Using coal waste to create sustainable concrete
Researchers have created a sustainable alternative to traditional concrete using coal fly ash, a waste product of coal-based electricity generation.
New microscopy works at extreme heat, sheds light on alloys for nuclear reactors
A new microscopy technique allows researchers to track microstructural changes in real time, even when a material is exposed to extreme heat and stress. Recently, researchers show that a stainless steel alloy called alloy 709 has potential for elevated temperature applications such as nuclear reactor structures.
Path to zero emissions starts out easy, but gets steep
Carbon dioxide emissions from human activities must approach zero within several decades to avoid risking grave damage from the effects of climate change. This will require creativity and innovation, because some types of industrial sources of atmospheric carbon lack affordable emissions-free substitutes, according to a new article.
Building bridges with water molecules
Researchers have managed to uncover the mystery behind the structure of water molecules on iron oxide surfaces, and their work has revealed that water molecules can form of complex structures reminiscent of bridges, which play a significant role when it comes to chemical reactions on the surface.
Unprecedented control of polymer grids achieved
The first examples of covalent organic frameworks (COFs) were discovered in 2005, but quality has been poor and preparation methods uncontrolled. Now researchers have produced high-quality versions of these materials, demonstrate their superior properties and control their growth. The team's two-step process produces organic polymers with crystalline, two-dimensional structures. The precision of the material's structure and the empty space its hexagonal pores provide will allow scientists to design new materials with desirable properties.
Buildings as power stations work: They generate more energy than they consume, data shows
The UK's first energy-positive classroom generated more than one and a half times the energy it consumed, according to data from its first year of operation, the team has revealed. The findings were announced as the researchers launched the next phase of their research, gathering data and evidence on an office building, constructed using similar methods.
Chemical 'caryatids' improve the stability of metal-organic frameworks
Metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) are porous materials that can change the way we capture carbon, filter water, and an array of other applications. Chemists have now found the link between mechanical stability and structure, thus overcoming a significant obstacle in optimizing MOFs.
Cementless fly ash binder makes concrete 'green'
Engineers have developed a composite binder made primarily of fly ash, a byproduct of coal-fired power plants, that can replace Portland cement in concrete.
New aircraft-scheduling models may ease air travel frustrations
Flight schedules that allow for a little carefully designed wiggle room could prevent the frustration of cascading airport delays and cancellations. By focusing on the early phases of flight schedule planning and delays at various scales, researchers have developed models to help create schedules that are less susceptible to delays and easier to fix once disrupted.
Scientists develop material that could regenerate dental enamel
Researchers have developed a new way to grow mineralized materials which could regenerate hard tissues such as dental enamel and bone.
Combining experts and automation in 3D printing
Researchers have developed a novel approach to optimizing soft material 3D printing. The researchers' Expert-Guided Optimization method combines expert judgment with an optimization algorithm that efficiently searches combinations of parameters relevant for 3D printing, enabling high-fidelity soft material products to be printed.
Oil and gas wastewater as dust suppressant less than ideal
At the least, wastewater from oil and gas drilling should be treated in a waste treatment facility before it is used on dirt roads to suppress dust or deice roads. At the best, affordable, nontoxic dust suppressants should be developed and used, according to a multidisciplinary team of researchers.
One-step, 3D printing for multimaterial projects
New research could potentially help manufacturers reduce 3D printing manufacturing steps and use one machine to make complex products with multiple parts in one operation. Until now, 3D printing, also known as additive manufacturing, has been limited to using mostly one material at a time.
Liquid crystal shells: 'Smart' material enables novel applications in autonomous driving and robotics
Research has shown the potential of liquid crystal shells as enabling material for a vast array of future applications, ranging from autonomous driving to anti-counterfeiting technology and a new class of sensors.
3D printed sugar offers sweet solution for tissue engineering, device manufacturing
Engineers built a 3D printer that offers a sweet solution to making detailed structures that commercial 3D printers can't: Rather than a layer-upon-layer solid shell, it produces a delicate network of thin ribbons of hardened isomalt, the type of sugar alcohol used to make throat lozenges. The water-soluble, biodegradable glassy sugar structures have multiple applications in biomedical engineering, cancer research and device manufacturing.
Self-healing material a breakthrough for bio-inspired robotics
Many natural organisms have the ability to repair themselves. Now, manufactured machines will be able to mimic this property. Researchers have created a self-healing material that spontaneously repairs itself under extreme mechanical damage.
New 3D printer can create complex biological tissues
Scientists have developed a specially adapted 3D printer to build therapeutic biomaterials from multiple materials. The advance could be a step toward on-demand printing of complex artificial tissues for use in transplants and other surgeries.
Virtual-reality testing ground for drones
Engineers have developed a new virtual-reality training system for drones that enables a vehicle to 'see' a rich, virtual environment while flying in an empty physical space. The system, which the team has dubbed 'Flight Goggles,' could significantly reduce the number of crashes that drones experience in actual training sessions. It can also serve as a virtual testbed for any number of environments and conditions in which researchers might want to train fast-flying drones.
Three gallons of radioactive tank waste vitrified last month
Approximately three gallons of low-activity Hanford tank waste were vitrified at PNNL's Radiochemical Processing Laboratory in April. The laboratory-scale demonstration is an important step toward the eventual treatment of millions of gallons of hazardous waste generated during past plutonium production at Hanford.
Monitoring the tremble -- and potential fall -- of natural rock arches
Scientists monitoring the vibrations of natural rock arches have found that the resonant frequencies of arches undergo dynamic changes from day to day, according to new research.
Strain improves performance of atomically thin semiconductor material
Materials scientists show conclusively for the first time that the properties of atomically thin materials can be mechanically manipulated to enhance their performance. The finding could lead to faster computer processors and more efficient optical sensors.
500-year-old Leaning Tower of Pisa mystery unveiled by engineers
Why has the Leaning Tower of Pisa survived the strong earthquakes that have hit the region since the middle ages? This is a long-standing question that experts in earthquake engineering and soil-structure interaction have now solved..
Multiple uses for empty plastic bottles during disaster relief and beyond
Powerful hurricanes and earthquakes have wreaked havoc in the United States and around the world in recent years, often leaving people stranded for months and even years without access to water, food, and shelter. A unique project seeks to provide a sustainable solution, while also considering the environment.


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