Wednesday, September 26, 2007

 

GnM article: A solid plan for dead wood

Sorin Pasca has devised a way to combine cement with beetle-killed trees to create a cuttable concrete

Special to The Globe and Mail

Graduate student Sorin Pasca thinks he has a concrete solution to the problem of what to do with millions of lodgepole pine trees killed by the mountain pine beetle epidemic.

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"Usually wood is not compatible with cement because wood is an organic material. That was the first stage of the project, to prove that beetle-kill wood could combine with Portland cement. The results were great and that allowed me to start developing products," he said.
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The resulting concrete looks somewhat like plywood with a grey background, he said, with wood flecks tightly packed in the cement. Along with creating boards that can have nails hammered into them without the need for drilling, like wood, the waterproof wood-concrete mix can be poured into moulds to create useful shapes for construction.
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