New concrete offers lower-cost construction
Cement manufacturing is the fourth
largest generator of greenhouse gases,
but that may change thanks to a construction
method that makes a new concrete
without using cement.
A West Virginia Company just patented
for a new construction technique
that creates concrete using the tensile
steel found in everything from used
tires to mesh fabrics. This new process
provides a tremendous cost-savings
to builders for the construction
of walls, foundations, site pads,
driveways, roadways, dams and levees.
But this method also finds a new
purpose for one of the world’s most
plentiful waste products – tires.
Developed by The Reinforced Aggregates
Company of Morgantown, West Virginia,
Mechanical Concrete combines crushed
stone particles into a solid by using
a thin cylinder – like you would
find in a used tire – into a concrete
building block. The process takes
advantage of the natural way pieces
of gravel and stone flow under pressure
to instantly combine small stones
into a solid concrete.
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office
awarded a patent to civil engineer
and company founder, Samuel G. Bonasso,
who discovered this unique method.
“I discovered this idea while looking
for a better way to dispose of used
tires,” Bonasso said. At the time,
Bonasso was Secretary of Transportation
for West Virginia and faced disposing
a huge backlog of used automobile
tires. “What a surprise to find that
by removing the side-walls, I could
make a mechanical version of concrete.
Mechanical Concrete changes how we
build with stone. From testing in
the lab and with full scale projects,
it’s proven to be fast, simple, easy
Laboratory tests and field demonstrations
of Mechanical Concrete have been
conducted at West Virginia University
College of Engineering and Mineral
Resources, by the West Virginia Division
of Highways, private engineers and
in the natural resource industry.
These projects show that Mechanical
Concrete is not only much faster
than regular concrete, but it also
offers a minimum of 25 percent reduction
in cost. “It can be designed to be
as strong as necessary to support
the desired loads,” Bonasso said.
“As an engineered material, its strength
depends on the materials selected
for the specific use.”