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Civil Engineer Blog
Civil Engineer and Civil Engineering Student Blog

5 Ways to Protect Your Asphalt Driveway
An asphalt driveway surface can last quite a few years without too many problems. There are some basic steps you can take to preserve the surface and help it maintain good looks and function longer. Below are five ways to help preserve your asphalt driveway from the start. Asphalt Surface Sealant Have a protective seal […]
The Importance Of Foundation Refurbishment
Foundation repair is a regular part of home maintenance, but it is also one that most homeowners tend to ignore. Your home’s foundation is too important to ignore, so be ready to contact one of the many foundation repair services Cleveland Ohio has to offer if you notice any of these signs. Doors and Windows […]
An Introduction to Pressure Treated Wood
Telephone poles have a look which is recognizable to everyone in the United States and across the globe. There’s a smoothness to them, a darker hue than natural bark. And they’re so hard that they will not be nice to your car if you run into one. In addition, they last for decades without replacement, […]
Exploring Your Choices for Dock and Loading Machinery
As the owner or manager of an industrial warehouse, it is up to you to ensure its safety and production. You may need to have a variety of machinery on hand to help your crew move inventory and unload trucks. When the items that you store in the warehouse are too heavy for a single […]
How to keep a Business Safe and Secure
Companies that are looking for foolproof security for their businesses know that high quality wire fencing provides incredible protection. Companies that supply barbed wire fencing know it’s important to go with machine suppliers that can produce the wire that is reliable and of the highest quality. All of this ensures that the fencing that is […]

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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.

Drug discovery could accelerate hugely with machine learning
Drug discovery could be significantly accelerated thanks to a new high precision machine-learning model.
Bicycles reacting to speed for stable cycling
A Dutch consortium has developed an electrical bicycle that prevents elderly people from falling. The smart Assistive Bicycle, called SOFIE, increases stability by, amongst others, a drive off assistance and by automatically lowering the saddle at low speeds.
Nanotexturing creates bacteria-killing spikes on stainless steel surfaces
By using an electrochemical etching process on a common stainless steel alloy, researchers have created a nanotextured surface that kills bacteria while not harming mammalian cells. If additional research supports early test results, the process might be used to attack microbial contamination on implantable medical devices and on food processing equipment made with the metal.
Volumetric 3D printing promises nearly instant builds
By using laser-generated, hologram-like 3D images flashed into photosensitive resin, researchers have discovered they can build complex 3D parts in a fraction of the time of traditional layer-by-layer printing.
DNA-origami surpasses important thresholds
It is the double strands of our genes that make them so strong. Using a technique known as DNA origami, biophysicists have been building nanometer-scale objects for several years. Now scientists have not only broken out of the nanometer realm to build larger objects, but have also cut the production costs a thousand-fold. These innovations open a whole new frontier for the technology.
New dental material resists plaque and kills microbes
Researchers have evaluated a new dental material tethered with an antimicrobial compound that can not only kill bacteria but can also resist biofilm growth. In addition, unlike some drug-infused materials, it is effective with minimal toxicity to the surrounding tissue, as it contains a low dose of the antimicrobial agent that kills only the bacteria that come in contact with it.
Nature's toughest substances decoded
Researchers have developed computer simulations to decode nature's toughest materials, like seashells and tooth enamel, to guide making synthetic multifunctional composites.
Is underground transit worse for your health?
When researchers set out to study the environmental benefits of different modes of public transit in LA, they found some unexpected results: certain SoCal public transit routes that were entirely underground exposed passengers to greater concentrations of carcinogens in the air.
Nature's blueprint for fracture-resistant cement
Based on the nanostructure of the sea urchin spines, scientists develop fracture-resistant cement.
Universal signature fundamental to how glassy materials fail
To find a link between seemingly disparate disordered materials and their behavior under stress, scientists studied an unprecedented range of disordered solids with constituent particles ranging from individual atoms to river rocks. Understanding materials failure on this fundamental level could be key for designing more shatter-resistant glasses or predicting geological phenomena like landslides.
Identifying optimal adaptation of buildings threatened by hurricanes, climate change
The need for adaptation strategies to reduce the threat of hurricanes to society is of critical importance, as evidenced by the recent damage to coastal regions in the U.S. and the Caribbean this past year. The fact that the number of residential buildings in coastal areas has increased significantly combined with the increasing risks of impacts of due climate change means that the cost of damage to coastal developments are likely to continue to rise.
New microscope sets a record for visualizing surface wetting properties
Wetting is an everyday phenomenon that represents how well liquid spreads on a surface. When water comes into contact with an extremely water-repellent, or ‘superhydrophobic’ surface, droplets bead up and roll off easily. Researchers have developed a measurement technique called Scanning Droplet Adhesion Microscopy (SDAM) to understand and characterize the wetting properties of superhydrophobic materials.
Towards better understanding of railway ballast
Mathematical models are extremely limited at modeling ballast, the gravel layer located under railway tracks. Researchers have shown that a large part of the energy introduced by a train passing is trapped by the ballast. Their work shows that this trapping phenomenon, which is very dependent on train speed, could cause accelerated ballast degradation in railway tracks.
Biomechanical model could reduce wobbling of pedestrian bridges
The dangerous wobbling of pedestrian bridges could be reduced by using biomechanically inspired models of pedestrian response to bridge motion and a mathematical formula to estimate the critical crowd size at which bridge wobbling begins, according to a study.
Scientists capture colliding organic nanoparticles on video for first time
An American research team is the first to capture on video organic nanoparticles colliding and fusing together. This unprecedented view of 'chemistry in motion' will aid Northwestern nanoscientists developing new drug delivery methods as well as demonstrate to researchers around the globe how an emerging imaging technique opens a new window on a very tiny world.
New motion sensors a major step toward low-cost, high-performance wearable technology
Researchers have developed a class of breakthrough motion sensors that could herald a near future of ubiquitous, fully integrated and affordable wearable technology.
Math gets real in strong, lightweight structures
Materials scientists lead a project to turn strong, light and compressible schwarzites from theory to reality with three-dimensional printers. The resulting materials share their properties from the nano- to the macroscale.
Kevlar-based artificial cartilage mimics the magic of the real thing
The unparalleled liquid strength of cartilage, which is about 80 percent water, withstands some of the toughest forces on our bodies. Synthetic materials couldn't match it -- until "Kevlartilage" was developed.
Public – and researchers – skeptical about climate engineering
What does the general public know about climate engineering, and what do they think about what they know? These were questions asked by researchers.
Electron backscatter diffraction yields microstructure insights
Soft magnetic core engineering plays a key role in high-efficiency electric motors, but for higher-frequency applications, soft magnetic composites are also promising. Each stage of motor construction affects the material's microstructure, and understanding the details of the microstructure is paramount to reaching higher efficiency for electrical motors. Researchers have now created an advanced characterization method to closely examine microscale structural characteristics and changes during manufacturing processes using electron backscatter diffraction.
Innovative, ideal liquid-repellent surfaces developed by scientists
Scientists have developed a robust liquid-repellent structure and the fabrication of porous surfaces by an innovative microfluidic-droplet-based technique. Materials such as textiles, metals, and glasses covered by a layer of this robust porous surface can then become liquid-repellent.
Green roofs to reduce the effects of climate change
It would be necessary to have between 207 and 740 hectares of green roofs in a city like Seville (Spain), depending on the scenario that is contemplated, to reduce the effects of climate change in relation to the maximum temperature rises of between 1.5 and 6 ºC that are estimated by the end of the century. This would require between 11 and 40 percent of the buildings in the city.
New facades enhance energy efficiency of buildings
Researchers have designed a new system that reduces the energy gains-losses of buildings through their façade, managing to reduce the energy consumption due to air flow.
SMART: Facial recognition for molecular structures
Researchers have developed a method to identify the molecular structures of natural products that is significantly faster and more accurate than existing methods. The method works like facial recognition for molecular structures -- it uses a piece of spectral data unique to each molecule and then runs it through a deep learning neural network to place the unknown molecule in a cluster of molecules with similar structures.
Computer system finds 'recipes' for producing materials
System could pore through millions of research papers to extract 'recipes' for producing materials, explain investigators.
New fire-resistant coating to prevent failure in steel building fires
A few extra coats of ‘paint’ could be all that the steel in a building needs to prevent itself from buckling and failing in a fire, suggests new research.
How nanoscale patterning can decrease metal fatigue
Fatigue due to repetitive strain is the leading cause of failure in metal components and structures, but new research shows how crystalline structures called nanotwins can slow the accumulation of fatigue-related damage.
Envisioning a new engineering field: Understanding atomic-scale patterns
The phenomenon that forms interference patterns on television displays when a camera focuses on a pattern like a person wearing stripes has inspired a new way to conceptualize electronic devices. Researchers are showing how the atomic-scale version of this phenomenon may hold the secrets to help advance electronics design to the limits of size and speed.
New property found in unusual crystalline materials
Researchers have discovered an unexpected property of some nanostructured metals, could lead to new ways of 'tuning' their properties.
Students fortify concrete by adding recycled plastic
By exposing plastic flakes to small, harmless doses of gamma radiation, then pulverizing the flakes into a fine powder, scientists can mix the plastic with cement paste to produce concrete that is up to 20 percent stronger than conventional concrete.
Technique offers advance in testing micro-scale compressive strength of cement
Researchers have, for the first time, used a 'micropillar compression' technique to characterize the micro-scale strength of cement, allowing for the development of cement with desirable strength properties for civil engineering applications.
Adhesives and composite materials made from Swiss tree bark
Studies show that tannins extracted from native tree bark can be used to produce adhesives and composite materials. An additional area of application might be 3D printing.
Shaping animal, vegetable and mineral
A new technique to grow any target shape from any starting shape has now been developed by researchers, outlines a new report.
Finally! A solution to office thermostat wars
A new method has been proposed that simultaneously optimizes individual office workers' productivity and energy consumption costs by automating the control of indoor environmental conditions including air quality, temperature and lighting.
New software speeds origami structure designs
Researchers have developed a new computer-aided approach that streamlines the design process for origami-based structures, making it easier for engineers and scientists to conceptualize new ideas graphically while simultaneously generating the underlying mathematical data needed to build the structure in the real world.
Solar-powered devices made of wood could help mitigate water scarcity crisis
Energy from the sun and a block of wood smaller than an adult's hand are the only components needed to heat water to its steaming point in these purifying devices.
Timber bridges viable option for local roads
Structural testing of a glulam timber girder bridge confirmed that they are viable, cost-effective options for replacing bridges on low-traffic county and township road.
Army researchers point to early warning signs in military vehicle structural 'wellness'
Researchers have shown that early fatigue damage behavior in structures may be predicted through the study of the microscale mechanical behavior of the material. The findings are an important result for the structural health monitoring (SHM) community and may lead to new sensing techniques for predicting the service life of critical components.
Small scale energy harvesters show large scale impact
The production of nano-scale devices has drastically increased with the rise in technological applications, yet a major drawback to the functionality of nano-sized systems is the need for an equally small energy resource. To address this, researchers have been modeling new piezoelectric energy harvester technology at the nano-scale level.
Football helmet smartfoam signals potential concussions in real time, study suggests
While football-related concussions have been top of mind in recent years, people have struggled to create technology to accurately measure them in real time. Engineers have now developed and tested a nano composite smartfoam that can be placed inside a football helmet (and pads) to more accurately test the impact and power of hits.
Rogue wave analysis supports investigation of the El Faro sinking
A new analysis done to support the investigation into the 2015 sinking of the El Faro cargo ship has calculated the likelihood of a massive rogue wave during Hurricane Joaquin in October of that year – and demonstrated a new technique for evaluating the probability of rogue waves over space and time.
Coatings needed for concentrating solar power
Next-generation concentrating solar power (CSP) plants require high-temperature fluids, like molten salts, in the range of 550-750 degrees Celsius to store heat and generate electricity. At those high temperatures, however, the molten salts eat away at common alloys used in the heat exchangers, piping, and storage vessels of CSP systems. New research is aimed at mitigating corrosion levels in CSP plants with nickel-based coatings.
Developing roads that can generate power from passing traffic
Researchers are looking at advanced materials for roads and pavements that could generate electricity from passing traffic. Engineers are working on smart materials such as 'piezolectric' ceramics that when embedded in road surfaces would be able to harvest and convert vehicle vibration into electrical energy.
A drone for last-centimeter delivery
A new drone uses cutting-edge technology to deliver parcels weighing up to 500 grams. The device will never get stuck in traffic, it’s programmed to avoid obstacles, and it can reach destinations on steep or uneven terrain. Its protective cage and foldable design mean that it can be carried around in a backpack and used in total safety.
Corrosion: Nanoscale glimpse of crevice and pitting corrosion as it happens
What affects almost everything made of metal, from cars to boats to underground pipes and even the fillings in your teeth? Corrosion -- a slow process of decay. At a global cost of trillions of dollars annually, it carries a steep price tag, not to mention, the potential safety, environmental and health hazards it poses.
'Peel-and-go' printable structures fold themselves
Researchers have created a printable structure that begins to fold itself up as soon as it's peeled off the printing platform.
Getting to the point (mutations) in re-engineering biofuel-producing bacterial enzymes
Helping bacteria become more efficient when breaking down fibrous plant waste into biofuel could result in more affordable biofuels for our gas tanks and sustainable products such as bioplastics. One way to achieve this goal is to re-engineer the bacterial enzyme complexes, called cellulosomes, which serve as catalysts in the degradation process.
'Rubber material' discovered that could lead to scratch-proof paint for car
A stretchy miracle material has been discovered that could be used to create highly resistant smart devices and scratch-proof paint for cars, report investigators.
Insect eyes inspire new solar cell design
Packing tiny solar cells together, like micro-lenses in the compound eye of an insect, could help scientists overcome a major roadblock to the development of perovskite photovoltaics.
Improving earthquake resistance with a single crystal
A new heating method for certain metals could lead to improved earthquake-resistant construction materials.
In the face of climate change can our engineers keep the trains running on time?
Each nation has employed its own methodology for maintenance and repairs of trains and subways, but new, daunting challenges created by climate change -- extreme heat, extreme cold, and severe flooding -- require yet more rigorous solutions.
Team develops novel 3-D printed high-performance polymer that could be used in space
With a new breakthrough, the high-performance polymer now could theoretically be used in any shape, size, or structure, and not just within the aerospace industry, say researchers. The same material can be found in scores of electronic devices, including cell phones and televisions.
Origami-inspired robot
New research details how origami structures and bio-inspired design can be used to create a crawling robot.
Chemists get step closer to replicating nature with assembly of new 3-D structures
Chemists have created a series of three-dimensional structures that take a step closer to resembling those found in nature.
Understanding brittle crack behaviors to design stronger materials
Scientists have discovered the mechanism that causes cracks to behave strangely when they spread very rapidly in brittle materials.
AI implications: Engineer's model lays groundwork for machine-learning device
In what could be a small step for science potentially leading to a breakthrough, an engineer has taken steps toward using nanocrystal networks for artificial intelligence applications.
Tough, self-healing rubber developed
Imagine a tire that could heal after being punctured or a rubber band that never snapped. Researchers have developed a new type of rubber that is as tough as natural rubber but can also self-heal.
Researchers 'count cars' -- literally -- to find a better way to control heavy traffic
There's 'Counting Crows,' counting sheep, counting blessings and now researchers have their own version of 'counting cars' -- literally -- in an attempt to improve traffic flow on South Florida's and our nation's overcrowded roads. And with more than 263 million registered passenger vehicles in the United States and more than 14 million registered vehicles in Florida alone, this is no small feat.
When robots help with shopping
Today, the desired book, toy or household appliance can be purchased by a click only -- thanks to online mail order business and smart logistics. The bottleneck in logistics, however, is the high-bay store, where many picking and detection processes cannot yet be executed automatically by robots. At the Amazon Robotics Challenge in Nagoya, Japan, a team has demonstrated how future warehousing may work.
Machine learning could be key to producing stronger, less corrosive metals
Researchers have studied grain boundaries for decades and gained some insight into the types of properties grain boundaries produce, but no one has been able to nail down a universal system to predict if a certain configuration of atoms at grain boundaries will make a material stronger or more pliable. An interdisciplinary team of researchers have cracked the code by juicing a computer with an algorithm that allows it to learn the elusive 'why' behind the boundaries' qualities.


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