Would it be possible to replace solid aggregates such as stone and gravel from concrete mixtures ? Using existing research, we seek to develop a viable solution that would replace gravel with engineered plastics. We will begin our research by examining existing electron microscope images of concrete, minerals, and crystals to further study their geometric properties. Taking advantage of naturally occurring geometries, we seek to find a geometry that would create a stronger concrete binding mixture. To do so, we will use 3d software to visualize and replicate possible engineered geometries. Using 3D printers we will develop a series of prototype aggregates that would be added to a concrete mix to be tested. Such prototypes will be used to measure the changes in the tensile and compressive properties of concrete. If successful, our engineered geometries would be able to provide viable solutions for one-time plastic waste, gravel mining, as well as a possible means to extend concrete life by reducing the amount of steel used in rebar applications.
3rd Year / Graduation Date: May 9th, 2020 James Hung was born and raised in Charlotte, North Carolina. His interests are technology, video games, movies, making, and architecture. His research over the semester would be on the topic of 3D printing technology. Studying the different properties of 3D printing and various materials that can be used in these machines. See the know different applications these machines can be useful and benefits. With some knowledge already after working with these machines for year, he aims to explore more and see what new discoveries can be unlocked.
Graduate Student / M.Arch 2 / First year / Graduation Date: May 9th, 2021 Christopher Meza was born and raised in Mexico City, Mexico. He moved to the United States when he was 9 years old. Graduated with an Associates Degree in Arts from Cleveland Community College in 2012. Enlisted in the U.S. Army at the age of 17. Graduated from UNC Charlotte with a Bachelor of Architecture Degree in 2019. His interests lie at the intersection of pragmatism/technology, landscape urbanism, and tectonics in architecture. His research for this semester is inspired by the aggregates and admixtures used in Roman concrete. Having worked with concrete in the past, his research aims to use technology in order to mimic the microscopic structure of minerals in order to engineer aggregates that can strengthen concrete mixtures. Additionally, his research also aims at using waste plastic as the main source for engineered aggregates.