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magnetically aligned concrete

make concrete with iron sand and set under a magnetic field to give directional structure
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So,

concrete. good compressive, poor tensile strength.

idea: to give concrete directional microstructure. how? using a ferromagnetic component of the mixture, exposed to a magnetic field to which it will align.

Make it better? ok. Coat the ferromagnetic material in a cement reaction retarder (sugar usually) possibly with a slow release agent, like shellac.

lostmind, Dec 27 2012

Palaeomagnetism http://en.wikipedia...wiki/Paleomagnetism
[vfrackis, Jan 03 2013]

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       This would be an amazing, revolutionary new building material right up until the point somebody realized that this is what pre-stressed rebar is for.
Alterother, Dec 27 2012
  

       Having it couched as such might temper my derision, certainly.
Alterother, Dec 28 2012
  

       How is this "directional microstructure" supposed to help?
BunsenHoneydew, Dec 30 2012
  

       I know it's difficult to imagine, but some people actually believe that order is better than chaos.
Alterother, Dec 31 2012
  

       //How is this "directional microstructure" supposed to help?//   

       I'm not saying the idea would work, but imparting a "grain" to an otherwise amorphous material is useful.   

       A lot of our construction technology is based on beams and columns, where strength in one direction is much more important than strength in another*. Thus, if you are going to reinforce concrete beams with some sort of fibre, you want the fibres aligned along the beam; if they're randomly orientated, a lot of their tensile strength is wasted. This, of course, is why conventional pre-stressed or reinforced concrete beams have the tensile members predominantly along the long axis.   

       (The rest of it is based on shells, where strength in two directions is more important than strength in the third.)
MaxwellBuchanan, Jan 01 2013
  

       directional micro structure would help to realize new properties. I read of a metallurgy project in which the atomic structure of particular materials was atom by atom manually aligned the results were "new" characteristics previously unknown to science like incredible strength or hardness. The one example I remember as standing out was I think aluminum or zinc (not sure) became diaphanous after the process was completed. It was cool stuff   

       That said I think all concrete has a directional micro structure that is aligned to the earths magnetic field already. One of the ways that they(they =geologists) know that the earths magnetic poles have in the past flipped (measurably approximately every 600,000 years) is that molten rock that solidified within a particular magnetic field had a different magnetic signature than others or something like that, it was a significant discovery way back in the 20th century
vfrackis, Jan 03 2013
  

       I see this being useful where a foundation needs to hold up a house or other weight, but also needs to be flexible during floods or frost heaves. It could bend temporarily and not break, all while staying rigid in the other direction. Houses of the future thank you. Also I have heard of instances where they infuse plastic into concrete to keep it flexible, but that's in all directions.
Brian the Painter, Jan 03 2013
  
      
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