Swiss scientists solve mystery of Ireland’s crumbling houses
In County Donegal, Ireland, for years unstable concrete has caused massive damage to thousands of houses, leading to agitation, protests, demonstrations an even to disputes in Parliament. A government taskforce has been dealing with the issue since April 2016. However, Swiss experts from the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology (Empa) now believe they have found the cause.

Riddle solved: Why was Roman concrete so durable?
Scientists have been trying for decades to learn the secret of Roman concrete, particularly in structures that have endured harsh conditions, such as docks, sewers and seawalls, or structures built in seismically active sites. The material has been indestructible for two thousand years and the question is: ‘why is that?’
An international team of researchers now discovered that the Romans used strategies to make their concrete that provide several important self-healing properties. The trick is in using quicklime during mixing.

Super reefs of concrete
In Denmark, scientists and artists are currently working on an artificial reef made of newly developed concrete. The ‘Super Rev’ (Super Reefs) project aims to restore 55 square kilometres of reefs off the Danish coast.

KVK Innovation Top 100
Each year, KVK presents the KVK Innovation Top 100, a showcase full of successful innovations from small and medium-sized businesses. According to KVK, the strength of the Innovation Top 100, is to show what Dutch SMEs are capable of. The Chamber of Commerce Innovation Top 100 is deliberately not associated with a (money) prize. Over the past fifteen years, this prize has grown into the largest and most important innovation prize for SMEs. The new ranking was announced at the end of 2022 and contained a large number of innovations in the field of materials and material applications.

Roman’ sun roof tiles’
At the end of December, the European POCITYF program paid attention to a special project in the Pompeii Archaeological Park. POCITYF is a European Union project to make historic cities greener, smarter and more liveable. The problem with historic sites is that it is difficult to make them more sustainable without coming into conflict with the aesthetic appearance of such a location. Solar panels on a roof of a Roman temple are of course not a sight. So why not ‘invisible’ roof tiles?

 Changing shapes at the push of a button
Programmable materials can change their characteristics in a controlled and reversible way with the push of a button, independently adapting to fit new conditions. They can be used, for example, to make comfy chairs or mattresses that prevent bedsores.

From industrial waste to reusable materials
To make visible where industrial waste ends up. That was the challenge for PhD student Rusnė Šilerytė (TU Delft). This waste can often be reused, but that happens far too little. ‘Data are available; however, these should be looked at from a different perspective’, says recent PhD graduate Rusnė Šilerytė.

The entire summary can be find here>