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虽然名为“Finite”,可是这种材料的前景却是Infinite第1张图片

沙漠砂石将成为混凝土的低碳替代品
Desert sand could offer low-carbon concrete alternative

由专筑网李韧,王帅编译

英国的科学研究团队近期发现了沙漠砂石可以用来作为低碳建筑材料,这样能够减少自然资源的浪费。

伦敦帝国学院的研究团队发明了一种复合材料,名叫“Finite”,这种材料的强度与混凝土相当,但使用后的碳排放却只有混凝土的一半,并且这种材料完全可生物降解。

沙漠的沙子是一大片未开发的资源,因为沙漠砂石的颗粒度太细,不适合用于混凝土中的填充材料。

A team of scientists in the UK have developed a low-carbon construction material using desert sand that could take pressure off increasingly scarce natural resources.
The group from Imperial College London have invented a composite material called Finite that is as strong as concrete, but has half the carbon footprint, and is fully biodegradable.
Desert sand has remained an untapped resource as its wind-swept grains were previously too fine to be used as filler in concrete.

虽然名为“Finite”,可是这种材料的前景却是Infinite第2张图片

伦敦帝国学院的硕士生Carolyn Tam、Matteo Maccario、Hamza Oza和 Saki Maruyami共同合作,通过丰富的天然材料研制成这种具有环保性能的建筑材料。

Tam告诉 Dezeen记者:“沙漠中砂石含量非常丰富,但我们在做深入研究时却发现事实并非如此。”

砂石缺乏是全球性问题

这个世界的资源并非无限,全球当前也面临着砂石缺乏的问题,因此“Finite”这个名字便应运而生。

Post-graduate students Carolyn Tam, Matteo Maccario, Hamza Oza and Saki Maruyami came together to create a building material that could be made from a plentiful, naturally occurring material.
"We looked at sand because we thought sand was abundant, but actually when we did more research about sand [we found] it wasn't," Tam told Dezeen.

Sand scarcity is a global issue
Far from being an infinite resource, the world is looking at a crisis-level sand shortage in the not-to-distant future – hence the start-up's name, Finite.

虽然名为“Finite”,可是这种材料的前景却是Infinite第3张图片

在荷兰设计周曾经举办过一次研讨会,主要讨论砂石危机,因为这种危机会影响到玻璃和电脑芯片制造行业的发展。

混凝土制造的过程往往需要大颗粒砂石,而这些砂石则来源于水流的冲刷。随着城市的愈发繁荣,在建筑设计中混凝土的需求量也愈大。

荷兰设计工作室NL告诉Dezeen记者:“砂石是继淡水之后世界上的第二大消耗资源。”

At Dutch Design Week a symposium was held to discuss the sand crisis, which will affect glass-making and computer chip manufacturers as well as concrete suppliers.
To make concrete you traditionally need larger-grained sand that's been tumbled by water. Concrete is in high demand for construction as city-building booms.
"Sand is the most consumed resource on earth after freshwater," Dutch design duo Atelier NL told Dezeen at the time.

虽然名为“Finite”,可是这种材料的前景却是Infinite第4张图片

采砂产业价值数十亿美元,而例如印度等国家常常对砂石进行非法开采,这对河床与海滩造成一定程度的破坏,甚至影响到当地的生态系统。

Maccario说:“世界上的砂石资源非常紧张,当我们发现这一现象时,这一切都是那么的疯狂。”

Finite运用了丰富的资源

但Finite却能改变现状,混凝土之中的粘合剂成分是行业中的秘密,但是科学家相信就可持续指标来说,它会高于混凝土。

Maccario说:“混凝土中使用的粘合剂所产生的二氧化碳排放量占全球总量的百分之五,这数字非常夸张。”

Sand-mining is a multi-billion dollar industry, and illegal sand mining plagues countries such as India, where criminal gangs plunder riverbeds and beaches, damaging local ecosystems.
"The wars that are going on for sand throughout the world, all these things were crazy to us when we found out," said Maccario.

Finite uses abundant resources
Finite could change that. The binder ingredients are a guarded secret, but the scientists are confident that it outperforms concrete on key sustainability metrics.
"The main binder in concrete is responsible for five per cent of global CO2 emissions, which is huge," said Maccario.

虽然名为“Finite”,可是这种材料的前景却是Infinite第5张图片

Maccario继续:“根据极端预估,我们研发的材料的碳排放量是混凝土的一半以下。”

除了低碳效应和有力应对当前的砂石危机之外,Finite相比起传统的混凝土还具有重复使用的优势,因为混凝土在使用之后只能拆除填埋。

"Our worst-case estimate right now is less than half the CO2 footprint than concrete, in terms of what we are using," continued Maccario.
As well as being low-carbon and taking the strain off current sand sources, Finite is much more reusable than concrete, which often ends up in landfill.

虽然名为“Finite”,可是这种材料的前景却是Infinite第6张图片

Maccario解释说:“如果你使用我们的材料,就很容易回收,而且不需要任何原始材料,而混凝土基本上需要磨碎,才能作为新混凝土的填充剂。”

适用于短期基础设施项目的材料

Finite无毒无污染,可以自然分解,然后循环利用。

Tam说道:“我们用这种材料建造临时展览馆,在3个月展览期一过,我们就可以将它完全拆除。”

"If you make a block of it in the future it's quite easy to recycle and not use any virgin material, whereas concrete needs to be essentially ground up and then used as filler for the next batch of concrete," explained Maccario.

Material suited to short-term infrastructure projects
Finite is non-toxic and can be left to decompose naturally, or remoulded to be used in another project.
"We could use the material to make pavilions, then after three months when the event ends it can be deconstructed safely," said Tam.

虽然名为“Finite”,可是这种材料的前景却是Infinite第7张图片

研究团队相信,这种材料能够很好地成为中东地区的混凝土替代品,直接通过沙漠进行选材,并不需要昂贵的进口流程。

从理论上来说,Finite能够适用于永久性建筑,例如住宅等项目,但它仍然需要有系列的测试方法与制度来规范它的使用方法。

新材料带来新机遇

在早期,人们通过树脂浇注实验来证明这种材料同样能够用于制造花瓶与碗之类的容器,Finite可以添加相应的色彩与填充材料,但保持其原有性质不改变,或者添加一些天然的染料。

The team believe their material is ideal for use in the Middle East as the raw material for the concrete alternative can be scooped straight out of the desert, rather than being expensively imported.
Theoretically, Finite could also be used for permanent structures such as residential projects, but for this it would need to pass rounds of testing and regulations.

New materials bring new opportunities
Early experiments with resin casting have demonstrated that the material can also be used to create objects such as vases and bowls. Left untouched, Finite takes on the colour and gradation of the filler, but natural dyes can be added in the mixing process.

虽然名为“Finite”,可是这种材料的前景却是Infinite第8张图片

Maccario认为,在成本方面Finite是混凝土的有力竞争者,一旦Finite能够大规模生产,那么其使用范围则非常广泛,因为它有着非常丰富的原料。

当前,科学家们正在为这项研究募集资金,而Imperial Enterprise实验室也在支持着该团队参与Venture Catalyst挑战。

Maccario说:“这不仅仅是一个项目或材料,我们真正期待看到的是未来的建筑环境,我们希望未来的建筑材料并不只是使用后就拆除或填埋,而是它们能够不断地重复利用。”

“只要你拥有新材料,你就拥有新机遇。”

荷兰设计工作室NL在制作玻璃样本时所采用的砂石都来源于特定的区域,这是为了证明晶莹的玻璃容器的制作材料并不一定非要从现有的砂石采石场中获取而来。爱丁堡艺术学院的学生Peter Trimble也研究制造了一台便携式机器,这台机器可以运用砂石、尿液、细菌来制作家具。

Cost-wise, Maccario is confident that Finite will be a viable competitor to concrete in the construction industry once it is manufactured on a larger scale, because of the abundance of the raw materials.
For the moment, the scientists are focusing on getting funding for their start-up. The Imperial Enterprise Lab is supporting the team in its Venture Catalyst Challenge.
"It will take more than just our project or one material, but we're really looking forward to is a future where the built environment isn't this thing where you keep it there forever or landfill it or down-cycle it, but something that uses nature and is continuously reusable," added Maccario.
"As soon as you have new materials you have new opportunities."
Atelier NL has been creating glass samples from region-specific sand they crowd-sourced, in order to demonstrate that beautiful glassware doesn't necessarily need to come from a limited pool of white sand quarries. As part of his thesis project, Edinburgh College of Art student Peter Trimble built a portable machine that could build furniture from sand, urine and bacteria.

        
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