February 2015 - Infrastructure Digest

Using Petrography to Understand and Resolve Scaling Issues

The most common scaling mechanisms are:

• Classic freeze-thaw scaling, where sub-horizontal micro-cracks leads to loss of material by flaking.
• Micro-delaminations, where very thin layers of mortar detach in coherent sheets from the top surface.
• Mortar flaking, which involves the loss of mortar over coarse aggregate particles.

Why should you read this? Meaty, technical article on a common challenge. FCP, December 2014


The Greening of Civil Infrastructure

Similar progress is being made by manufacturers such as Unilever, a global brand leader in food, personal healthcare and other consumer products. In 2013, 75 percent of the company’s manufacturing sites brought their delivery of nonhazardous waste to landfills down to zero. Included among Unilever’s wide array of global waste recovery, recycle and reuse initiatives is the use of overflow plant sludge in prefabricated construction products and as an alternative raw material in cement production.

Increasingly, the waste generated from the manufacturing processes of companies like these and others is also finding its way into major infrastructure projects throughout the nation. The byproducts from manufacturing, as well as other industrial processes such as energy generation, offer a valuable resource for use in civil infrastructure.

Why should you read this? May create some reuse opportunities for you. ASTM, February 2015


Mammoth Lock Takes Shape in Belgium

Ship access capacity to the Antwerp’s Waasland Canal complex in Belgium will be more than doubled by construction of the world’s largest ship lock at the Deurganck dock. With a construction cost of some $290 million, the lock on the tidal River Scheldt’s left bank—500 meters long, 68 m wide and 17.8 m deep—is due to start operations in spring 2016.

The new lock will be more than 4 m deeper than the current world-record holder, Antwerp’s 25-year-old Berendrecht Lock, which serves docks on the opposite riverbank. It is also longer and wider than the new locks under construction for the third lane of the Panama Canal, but those locks will be up to 18.3 m deep. The Deurganck Lock will be the largest in the world by volume.

Why should you read this? It’s the biggest lock news of the last year! ENR, December 2014


Obama Pitches Corporate Tax to Fix Roads and Bridges

President Obama will propose a one-time tax on foreign profits held by U.S. corporations to pay for an ambitious plan to fix roads and bridges across the country.

The plan is included in the proposed $4 trillion budget that Obama will send to the Republican-held Congress Monday. Like other parts of the budget, it is not likely to pass, but is intended more to frame the debate with Capitol Hill over how to spend taxpayer dollars.

Why should you read this? We kinda need an actual plan guys… Time, February 2015


There’s gold in them thar sewers—tons and tons of it!

The study’s lead environmental engineer, Paul Westerhoff, told Science that the sewage treatment systems that collect and try to dispose of the waste could be losing a lot of  precious cargo in the process, citing a city in Japan that collected near 2 kg of gold in every metric ton of ash after burning sludge.

Why should you read this? That’s a lot of gold. Quartz, January 2015


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