Concrete development tackled by student
Ground-breaking research into the structure of concrete
is being conducted by an 82 year old PhD student from the
University of Wolverhampton.
Philip Owens, who also makes up one third of the industrial
consultancy firm ‘Nustone Ltd’, is investigating a way to vary
concrete density using combinations of normal and light-weight
coarse aggregate materials such as clay.
If successful, Philip’s research will enable the creation of a
light-weight concrete structure which could benefit the country
economically and environmentally.
His quest was given a boost when he, along with other
post-graduate students from the University’s Faculty of Science and
Engineering, were invited to meet David Gauke MP, the Exchequer
Secretary to the Treasury, in the House of Commons.
There Philip, alongside his University supervisor Professor
Jamal Khatib, explained how detritus clay removed from tunnels by
the Crossrail project in London would be the ideal raw material for
the manufacture of lightweight aggregates that would make
structural concrete 25% lighter and buildings less expensive to
Speaking about his research, Philip Owens said: “Concrete is not
very friendly to the environment, thus any initiative to conserve
resources or to reduce its impact is ideal for research.
“More efficient structural concrete has used light-weight
aggregates (LWA) for at least 100-years, but suitable supplies of
LWA have been intermittent.
“Currently in London, tunnels are being driven through clay,
which makes a very good LWA. The benefit of Nustone's LWA proposal
is that every tonne of London clay used to manufacture LWA is
equivalent to three tonnes of normal coarse aggregate.
“This then contributes significantly to the conservation of
normal aggregate reserves, without reducing the overall
effectiveness of concrete.”
For more information please contact Patrick Campbell in the
Media Relations Office on 01902 322448
Date Issued: Friday 5 July 2013