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Civil Engineer Blog
Civil Engineer and Civil Engineering Student Blog

Can Homeowners Insurance Cover the Cost of Water Damage Repair?
The need for homeowners insurance is never more painfully obvious than after an emergency situation that causes damage to your home. Water intrusion, no matter how it happens, can leave devastating amounts of damage to your home that needs to be repaired quickly to avoid mold and mildew. Below are a few ways that homes […]
Signs That You Need to Replace Your Roof
Sooner or later you will need to replace your asphalt shingle roof. The only question is when should you do this. It is true that you can attempt to replace a few shingles, but this is something that should only be done as a normal part of maintenance. There will come a time when you […]
When Pallet Racking Won’t Do, You Can Use the Cantilever System
Pallet racking is an excellent way to store inventory at your warehouse location. But it won’t work in all situations. Some goods, such as furniture, steel bars, and lumber, won’t fit on pallets. The items in question may simply be too big, too bulky, too weighty, or too awkwardly angled for a pallet storage system […]
3 Tips How To Pick A Dragon Fruit
Fruits are a necessity in our diets. They provide different vitamins to our bodies which help support different body functions such as boost our immunity among others. There are many types of fruits. One of the types of fruits is the exotic fruits. An example of this type of fruit is the dragon fruit. It […]
How to Locate a Home Renovation Contractor
You might reach a point where you are no longer happy with the appearance of your home. You have lived there for a long time and you want to improve the way it looks. You will need to hire an architect to begin to create a renovation plan for your home. He will make the […]



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.

Here's a tip: Indented cement shows unique properties
Three key molecular mechanisms control the mechanics of layered crystals such as tobermorite, a natural crystal used by the Romans to make concrete.
Toward 20-Story Earthquake-Safe Buildings Made From Wood
A two-story wooden structure endured four different earthquake simulations on July 14, 2017 on the world's largest outdoor shake table here in San Diego. And it's still standing before more tests in the coming weeks. The goal of the tests is to gather enough data to design wood buildings as tall as 20 stories that do not suffer significant damage during large earthquakes. That is, not only can occupants leave the building unharmed, but they can come back and resume living in the building shortly after a temblor.
More than 8. 3 billion tons of plastics made: Most has now been discarded
Humans have created 8.3 billion metric tons of plastics since large-scale production of the synthetic materials began in the early 1950s, and most of it now resides in landfills or the natural environment, according to a study.
High-tech sensing illuminates concrete stress testing
Using the principles of light, scientists have discovered a new way to measure the strength of modern forms of concrete -- giving industry a better way to understand when it could fracture.
Concrete from wood
Houses can be made of wood, as they were in the past – or of concrete, as they are today. To build for tomorrow, the two building methods are being combined: these hybrid structures, which contain both wood and concrete elements, are becoming increasingly popular in contemporary architecture.
Sprayable sensing network technology for structural health monitoring
A novel breed of nanocomposites-inspired sensors has been developed that can be sprayed directly on flat or curved engineering structural surfaces, such as train tracks and airplane structures. The sprayed sensors can be networked, to render rich real-time information on the health status of the structure under monitoring.
Protecting astronauts from radiation in space
Scientists have designed a new nano material that can reflect or transmit light on demand with temperature control, opening the door to technology that protects astronauts in space from harmful radiation.
Surprising insights into properties of butterfly wings
A collaboration between biologists and materials scientists is yielding new insights into the wings of the "skipper butterfly" in the Costa Rican rainforest. What they learn could lead to technological advancements in systems ranging from power-efficient computer displays to sensors to energy efficient buildings, windows and vehicles.
Dual-arm construction robot with remote-control function
A new concept construction robot has been developed for disaster relief situations. This robot has a double swing dual arm mechanism and has drastically improved operability and mobility compared to conventional construction machines.
Super-strong metal made for next tech frontier
Engineers have developed a strong, durable new material to help shape advanced MEMS sensors needed for the internet of things.
System of quadcopters that fly and drive suggest another approach to developing flying cars
Being able to both walk and take flight is typical in nature many birds, insects, and other animals can do both. If we could program robots with similar versatility, it would open up many possibilities: Imagine machines that could fly into construction areas or disaster zones that aren't near roads and then squeeze through tight spaces on the ground to transport objects or rescue people.
New approach improves ability to predict metals' reactions with water
The wide reach of corrosion, a multitrillion-dollar global problem, may someday be narrowed considerably thanks to a new, better approach to predict how metals react with water.
Smart materials used in ultrasound behave similar to water
Researchers have provided new insight into piezoelectrics materials, a smart material used in ultrasound technology. While forming the most thorough model to date of how these materials work, they found striking similarities with the behavior of water. A more complete understanding of why these materials behave the way they do can unlock new materials design, leading to higher quality piezoelectrics that may revolutionize smart material applications.
The future of our cities: Engineers test resilient, intelligent infrastructure
Engineers tested several advanced sensors that can collectively measure strain, temperature, movement and leakage – installed along a 40-foot section of a hazard-resilient pipeline being tested for earthquake fault-rupture performance. The results could have huge consequences for urban planners and municipal leaders.
3-D printed tensegrity objects capable of dramatic shape change
A team of researchers has developed a way to use 3-D printers to create objects capable of expanding dramatically that could someday be used in applications ranging from space missions to biomedical devices.
When the rubber hits the road: Recycled tires create stronger concrete
Engineers have developed a more resilient type of concrete using recycled tires that could be used for concrete structures like buildings, roads, dams and bridges while reducing landfill waste.
Artificial cartilage under tension as strong as natural material
Biomedical engineers have created a lab-grown tissue similar to natural cartilage by giving it a bit of a stretch. The tissue, grown under tension but without a supporting scaffold, shows similar mechanical and biochemical properties to natural cartilage.
Simulations pinpoint atomic-level defects in solar cell nanostructures
Heterogeneous nanostructured materials are widely used in various optoelectronic devices, including solar cells. However, the nano-interfaces contain structural defects that can affect performance. Calculations have helped researchers ID the root cause of the defects in two materials and provide design rules to avoid them.
Turning car plastics into foams with coconut oil
End-of-life vehicles, with their plastic, metal and rubber components, are responsible for millions of tons of waste around the world each year. Now, a team reports that the plastic components in these vehicles can be recycled with coconut oil and re-used as foams for the construction, packaging and automotive industries.
Oyster shells inspire new method to make superstrong, flexible polymers
Engineers have developed a method inspired by the nacre of oyster shells, a composite material with extraordinary mechanical properties, including great strength and resilience. By changing the crystallization speed of a polymer well-mixed with nanoparticles, the team controlled how the nanoparticles self-assemble into structures at three different length scales. This multiscale ordering makes the base material almost an order of magnitude stiffer while still retaining the desired deformability and lightweight behavior of the polymeric materials.
Variable speed limits could reduce crashes, ease congestion in highway work zones
As the summer months approach, most people turn to thoughts of sunshine, outdoor barbecues and destination trips. Yet travelers often are greeted by detours, lane closures and delays for road repairs that generally are reserved for warmer weather. Researchers have studied systems to alleviate inevitable backups and delays. Researchers found that using variable speed limits in construction zones may ease congestion, reduce crashes and make work zones safer for both workers and travelers nationally.
DIY crystal-makers get refurbished online cookbook
In response to popular demand, materials scientists have resurrected an online cookbook of crystalline structures that started when the World Wide Web was Netscape Navigator and HTML 1.0.
Drone vs. truck deliveries: Which creates less carbon pollution?
A new study finds that drone deliveries emit less climate-warming carbon dioxide pollution than truck deliveries in some -- but not all -- scenarios.
Real-time monitoring of irradiated materials
Researchers have developed a much faster, non-contact method of studying how materials change in a high-radiation environment, such as inside a nuclear reactor.
Conch shells may inspire better helmets, body armor
Engineers have uncovered the secret to the exceptional toughness of conch shells, and say the same principles can be used for body armor and helmets.
High pressure key to lighter, stronger metal alloys, scientists find
Subjecting complex metal mixtures called high-entropy alloys to extremely high pressures could lead to finer control over the arrangement of their atoms, which in turn can result in more desirable properties.
A recipe for concrete that can withstand road salt deterioration
Engineers have known for some time that calcium chloride salt, commonly used as deicer, reacts with the calcium hydroxide in concrete to form a chemical byproduct that causes roadways to crumble. A civil engineer is working on a new recipe for concrete, using cast-off products from furnaces, that can hold its own against the forces of chemical erosion.
Oddball enzyme provides easy path to synthetic biomaterials
Materials scientists have written the recipe on how to use an oddball enzyme to build new biomaterials out of DNA. The work provides instructions for researchers the world over to build self-assembling molecules for applications ranging from drug delivery to nanowires.
Fast, simple way to create two-dimensional electronic circuits
Team discovers fast, simple way to create two-dimensional electronic circuits that could potentially lead to a new generation of electronic devices.
Fabrication technology in the fourth dimension
Scientists use the term 4-D printing to refer to the simple production of objects that can transform their shape at different times. Researchers have now taken this approach one major step further by developing a construction principle that can produce load-bearing and predictable structures.
'Persistent photoconductivity' offers new tool for bioelectronics
Researchers have developed a new approach for manipulating the behavior of cells on semiconductor materials, using light to alter the conductivity of the material itself.
Tighter building controls needed to achieve government global warming targets
Thousands of new homes, schools and offices may be using much more energy than they should, and the reason is rather unexpected, according to new research.
Zapping bacteria with sanitizers made of paper
Imagine wearing clothes with layers of paper that protect you from dangerous bacteria. A research team has invented an inexpensive, effective way to kill bacteria and sanitize surfaces with devices made of paper.
System can 3-D print an entire building
Researchers have developed a system that can 3-D print the basic structure of an entire building.
Move over, Superman! New method sees through concrete to detect early-stage corrosion
A noninvasive 'spectral fingerprint' technique using terahertz waves has been developed that reveals the corrosion of concrete-encased steel before it can cause any significant degradation of the structure it supports.
Wonder material? Novel nanotube structure strengthens thin films for flexible electronics
Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.
Scientist's new approach may accelerate design of high-power batteries
A model for designing novel materials used in electrical storage devices, such as car batteries and capacitors, has now been designed by researchers. This approach may dramatically accelerate discovery of new materials that provide cheap and efficient ways to store energy.
Finding order and structure in the atomic chaos where materials meet
Materials science researchers have developed a model that can account for irregularities in how atoms arrange themselves at the so-called 'grain boundaries' -- the interface where two materials meet. By describing the packing of atoms at these interfaces, the tool can be used to help researchers determine how grain boundaries affect the properties of metal alloys and other materials.
Engineering technique is damaging materials research reveals
A technique that revolutionized scientists' ability to manipulate and study minuscule materials, may have dramatic unintended consequences -- altering their structural identity, new research reveals.
New 3-D printing method creates shape-shifting objects
A new 3-D printing method has been developed to create objects that can permanently transform into a range of different shapes in response to heat.
New method for 3-D printing extraterrestrial materials
3-D printing with lunar and Martian dust-based inks presents a new, sustainable method for extraterrestrial manufacturing of soft and hard structures and objects.
Triple treatment for heat-exchangers: New nano-coatings have an anti-adhesive, anti-corrosive and antimicrobial effect
When processing milk and juice, the food industry is using heat exchangers in numerous steps throughout the process. To have no risk to the consumers, heat exchangers have to be free from microbes. Especially in the numerous grooves and recesses of the heat exchanger, persistent biofilms can remain stuck. As a result, heat exchangers must be cleaned at regular intervals using aggressive chemicals. These increase the sensitivity for corrosion, especially if mild steel is used as heat exchanger material.
Predicting the limits of friction: Scientists look at properties of material
Materials scientists have developed a model to predict the limits of friction behavior of metals based on materials properties -- how hard you can push on materials or how much current you can put through them before they stop working properly.
Green laser light probes metals for hidden damage
Imagine being able to check the structural integrity of an airplane, ship or bridge, without having to dismantle it or remove any material for testing, which could further compromise the structure. That's the promise of a new laser-based technique that chemists are developing to reveal hidden damage in metals.
Team highlights work on tuning block polymers for nanostructured systems
High-performance materials are enabling major advances in a wide range of applications from energy generation and digital information storage to disease screening and medical devices. Block polymers, which are two or more polymer chains with different properties linked together, show great promise for many of these applications, and a research group has made significant strides in their development over the past several years.
Interior positioning system for dynamic environments
There is no positioning technology, such as GPS, for the indoor area. This makes location at shipyards, for instance, very difficult. In ship building, the environment changes constantly as a result of the construction process. Moreover, the metallic environment inhibits wireless communication that is required for location. Now, a research team has developed a new system to locate persons in a dynamic environment inside a hall under the SchiV 3.0 project. 
Heated pavement technology tested at Des moines International Airport
Engineers are testing heated pavement technologies at the Des Moines International Airport. They've installed two test slabs of electrically conductive concrete. And the pavement has effectively cleared ice and snow.
Engineers dive into big data to develop better system to manage traffic incidents
Traffic researchers are developing technology that will take the huge amounts of data collected by the Iowa Department of Transportation, sort through it all and identify problems. The goal is early detection of traffic incidents and better traffic management.
Molecular 'treasure maps' to help discover new materials
Scientists have developed a new method which has the potential to revolutionise the way we search for, design and produce new materials.
New feedback system could allow greater control over fusion plasma
A physicist has created a new system that will let scientists control the energy and rotation of plasma in real time in a doughnut-shaped machine known as a tokamak.
Silk sensor could speed development of new infrastructure, aerospace and consumer materials
Researchers have found a way to use molecules of dye to see inside some of the new composite materials being tested for bridges, cars and sporting goods.
Next-gen steel under the microscope
Next-generation steel and metal alloys are a step closer to reality, thanks to an international research project. The work could overcome the problem of hydrogen alloy embrittlement that has led to catastrophic failures in major engineering and building projects.
Engineers' 'photonic doping' makes class of metamaterials easier to fabricate
By carefully combining multiple structures, metamaterials can exhibit properties that don't naturally exist. A research team has a new, simpler way of making them, using a concept dubbed 'photonic doping.'
Designing the fuel-efficient aircraft of the future
Researchers are using the Stampede supercomputer to design novel, fuel-efficient, wing designs for jets, and to develop tools that can help the industry build more efficient aircraft. The researchers are exploring wings with longer spans, made of complex composites and that morph during flight.
Novel 3-D manufacturing leads to highly complex, bio-like materials
Researchers have developed a unique, 3-D manufacturing method that for the first time rapidly creates and precisely controls a material's architecture from the nanoscale to centimeters -- with results that closely mimic the intricate architecture of natural materials like wood and bone.
Synthetic tooth enamel may lead to more resilient structures
Unavoidable vibrations, such as those on airplanes, cause rigid structures to age and crack, but researchers may have an answer for that -- design them more like tooth enamel, which could lead to more resilient flight computers, for instance.
Colloidal spheres coaxed to self-assemble into photonic crystals
It is difficult to make colloidal spheres self-assemble into photonic crystals, which are valued for their optical properties. A team of engineers and scientists report they have found a pathway toward the self-assembly of these elusive photonic crystal structures never assembled before on the sub-micrometer scale. 
Bioinspired process makes materials light, robust, programmable at nano- to macro-scale
A new bioinspired process combines top-down and bottom-up assembly to turn silk protein into materials that are easily programmable at the nano-, micro- and macro-scales; ultralight; and robust. Structures made included a web of silk nano fibers able to sustain a load 4,000 times its own weight.
Oil and gas wastewater spills alter microbes in West Virginia waters
Wastewater from oil and gas operations -- including fracking for shale gas -- at a West Virginia site altered microbes downstream, according to a new study. The study showed that wastewater releases, including briny water that contained petroleum and other pollutants, altered the diversity, numbers and functions of microbes. The shifts in the microbial community indicated changes in their respiration and nutrient cycling, along with signs of stress.
Scientists decipher the nanoscale architecture of a beetle's shell
A professor of mechanical and materials engineering has found a way to analyze the fibrous nanostructure of a beetle's lightweight but durable shell.


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