Researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute have developed hemp-based rebar for concrete construction projects that they should last longer and have one lower carbon footprint than steel rebar.
Researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) in New York have developed hemp-derived rebar that the team says is more resistant to corrosion and produces a significantly lower carbon footprint than rebar of steel reinforcement, according to a report by Dezeen. .
Hemp rebar is made of interlocking natural hemp fibers covered with thermoplastic; The result is a strong, highly durable and corrosion resistant reinforcement for cementitious construction projects.
Alexandros Tsamis, assistant professor of architecture and associate director of RPI’s Center for Architectural Science and Ecology, said in the report that concrete structures “in high salt environments” have an expected lifespan of “40 to 50 years” due to steel corrosion. based rebar.
“If rebar did not corrode, it would be three times longer, and this would create a significant overall contribution to reducing carbon emissions, as it has a three times longer lifespan.” —Tsamis, via Dezeen
Although their work has yet to be peer-reviewed, the research team believe that hemp-based rebar will match steel rebar in strength and reliability, but surpass it. in terms of environmental impact and overall efficiency because hemp rebar can be produced faster. using a CNC machine that reads digital files to forge, cut and shape the rebar on site.
Hemp research is one of the first upcoming projects of Rensselaer’s new Institute for Energy, Built Environment and Intelligent Systems, according to a press release. Researchers are also working to create machines to separate hemp fiber from the inner woody core of the plant without affecting the overall durability of the material, and to develop sustainable degumming methods and new methods for processing hemp biocomposites, according to the communicated.