The wonders of modern technology are allowing me to post this message from somewhere near Mosul, well 36994ft above it actually. I’m heading to Bangladesh for the final stage of a DfID funded project we’ve been working on for a couple of years in which we’re trying to improve the durability of their concrete in the coastal regions.
It’s been quite an interesting challenge as the country has very little in the way of natural resources (most coarse aggregate and cement is imported) except clay so they make a lot of bricks and crush them up to use as aggregate.
There is a strong belief that stronger is better and that supplementary cementitious materials are bad – a view we’ve tried to change by introducing durability testing like the Nordtest NTBuild492. My colleague Sudarshan Srinivasan presented the a paper at the durability conference in Leeds last year which summarised the work (and won 2nd best paper award). If you’re interested I can let you have a copy.
Now all we have to figure out is how to get the technology to be able to stop the chap sitting next to me from waking me up so he could go to the toilet after I’d eventually fallen to sleep!