Reinforced concrete is heavy and its steel skeleton vulnerable to rust. Now researchers have replaced the steel with carbon fibre mesh. The result is lighter and more flexible than standard concrete slabs.
One of Italy's governing parties claimed several years ago that an imminent bridge collapse was a "fairytale." Calls for the resignations in the wake of Genoa's disaster are being resisted by road operator Autostrade.
Not all damage to a load-bearing structure is immediately apparent. So how do civil engineers find out that a bridge or a large hall is no longer safe? Many clues form a picture.
Lightning, engineering failure or aging infrastructure? Whatever the cause, Italy's government seeks to launch infrastructure projects that could bring it up against EU budget rules.
An alternative to steel enforced concrete has taken out the German Future Prize 2016. Edging out the inventions of pinpointed laser light and efficient motors.
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