There have been countless innovations in the construction industry over the years, but a few in recent times have proven to be real game changers. Today’s equipment, technology and the convenience of real-time smart applications are superior inventions that ease the work involved in even the most complex jobs, here are three patents that opened the doors of construction wide open.
1. 3-D Printing Technology Patents
Dubbed as one of the most significant breakthroughs of the 21st century thus far, the concept of 3-D printing technology was actually patented in 1986—far ahead of its time to fall into mainstream use. Only the advancements within computing technology did the wide-spanning potential uses of the apparatus for production of three-dimension objects by stereo lithography become apparent.
The device boasts a moving platform that receives instructional input from a program. The input tells a nozzle where to go and release a liquid resin layer by layer that will be solidified under UV lighting. Along with advances like laser metal sintering, 3-D printing is utilized in the construction of bridges, rocket engines, and Airbus aircraft shell components.
2. Solar Cells for Energy Generation
Patented under the name ‘apparatus for utilizing solar radiant energy’ by Edward Weston in the late 19th century, solar cells and their power were first harnessed by physicist Edmund Bequerel’s discovery of the photovoltaic effect. Weston also had the senses to create energy storage system outlines wherein that power can be used at a later time. The ability to store energy on grid (and sell back excess) is a highly desirable feature of solar cells today for most who invest in them amid the green construction industry.
However, as the technology has improved vastly over the past few decades, solar cells are becoming popular for both home and business owners as well as for use in environmentally friendly city structures. What is even more fascinating, is that there are clothing, appliances and several tech gadgets that operate on solar energy on a small level, yet the vast potential of the tech's use amid construction projects are so vast that the entire planet reaps the benefits on a larger scale than ever thought possible.
3. Graphene Composite Material
In 2004, innovators Konstantin Novoselov and Andre Geim revealed research at the University of Manchester of a material that would revolutionize construction on multiple facets—graphene plate materials. This discovery was patented in 2006 under the name ‘nano-scaled graphene plates, ’and ultimately earned the duo a 2010 Nobel Prize in Physics as a ‘groundbreaking experiment.’
When it comes to making ‘concrete greener’ there is no comparison to the eco-friendly benefits of graphene composite materials. When incorporated into traditional products, this single layer of carbon molecules is ultra-lightweight, yet 200 times stronger than comparable steel layers. It serves as an efficient electrical conductive layer with a superior ability to resist extreme water, cold and heat conditions. Today, graphene is becoming commonplace in construction efforts and has stepped up as a composite suitable for airline wings, computer chips, internal structural shields and other uses.
Make your carbon footprint count by minimizing it. Learn how to utilize modern technology to your advantage with one of our engineering and design pros at Greenspan Profiles.