Carbon could revolutionize concrete construction. The kind of filigree architecture that seemed impossible in the past is now suddenly within reach. Carbon concrete is a combination of concrete and carbon fibers. Reinforced with carbon, it is lighter than steel and can, among other things, withstand higher tensile forces.
Unlike steel, carbon does not need to be protected by a thick layer of concrete against the rust that can result from exposure to air and rainwater – so the use of carbon concrete saves material costs. It opens up new possibilities, such as floor panels that can be processed like wooden boards.
Such panels are two-thirds lighter than steel and only four centimeters thick, and do not require steel reinforcement. In the future, they could be prefabricated as separate elements, making formwork at construction sites unnecessary. While we have not yet reached that point, carbon concrete – with its long useful life and the material savings it offers – holds great promise for the construction industry.