Nuclear Concrete

We love discussing the many modern applications that our society has found for concrete here on the Bergen Mobile Concrete blog. More than just a footpath surface, concrete technologies have the potential to help us live in an even more sustainable world. In the not-so-distant future, we may even be hailing concrete as a modern marvel capable of helping the world enjoy safer nuclear energy.

Across the world in Poland, researchers are busy developing a technology that can create concrete capable of providing better shields against ionizing radiation produced in nuclear power plants. As this article published by Product Design & Development describes, the technology could also help in oncology hospital, nuclear chemistry lab and radioactive waste repository applications.

The research into more protective concrete compositions is in part urged on by recent discoveries of concrete issues at other nuclear facilities. Nuclear power plants in Canada and Finland were found to have either damaged concrete components or defective ones that increased safety risks at those plants.

The testing process for the final product will be rigorous, so an effective solution likely won’t be developed for a couple of years yet. But this is just one more example of the many unexpected impacts concrete has had on our society. Just browse through our blog and you’ll find plenty of interesting stories about electric sidewalks, home furnishings and even audio speakers composed of concrete.

The concrete shields for nuclear radiation protection project will likely continue through 2016, plenty of time to implement these products safely in nuclear facilities. This could help unlock a completely new future for energy. Although nuclear energy has it’s risks, this kind of shielding technology can help towards ensuring that devastating events don’t happen.

Bergen Mobile Technology wants to be the first to stay on top of developing concrete technologies as they’re created. We hope you enjoy being surprised by the ever-growing world of concrete.

New Concrete Laying Technique

In Arizona, the new East Wetlands multiuse pathway has been surprising locals, visitors and just about anyone who has taken a stroll down it. Beginning under the Ocean-to-Ocean Highway Bridge, this 1.5 mile path extends to the Avenue 2E trailhead. Whether you choose to bilk, walk or jog down the path, you can expect to see more than 400 acres of the surrounding wetland, offering a great view of the area. Whether you are looking for a relaxing place to jog or you want to bird watch, this path is the ideal spot for both.

One of the main things that visitors have been noticing is how smooth the path is to walk on. This smooth surface is due to new technology that was used to lay concrete along the path. Although this technology has been used in other places, this is the first place in Yuma that has benefited from this new concrete laying technique. Specifically, the path makes use of roller-compacted concrete. This is a special mix of concrete applied using a standard asphalt paving device. Afterwards, it is smoothed out by running rollers over it.

The technique used to create the path also makes the cement laying process easier because there is no preparation required when it comes to the surface. It also takes a significantly shorter time to dry than standard cement. This technology combined with the sights and sounds offered on the path make for one of the best additions to the Yuma area in recent years!

Concrete makes the world a better place. For more information about all things cement, get in touch with the team at Bergen Mobile Concrete!


Concrete Barrels Full of Wine

Here at the Bergen Mobile Concrete blog, we love sharing new and interesting ways of looking at concrete, a subject many people would think is pretty dull. However, a quick scroll through our various posts here will show you that nothing could be further from the truth. Today, we’re taking a quick look at a new way concrete is being used in winemaking to make the process much closer to historic traditions.

Stainless steel, and not oak barrels, has been the container of choice for winemakers that make large quantities of wine for commercial sale. Aging containers made of steel are cleaner and predictable to use, but many business are interested in returning to more time-honored traditions. For these companies, concrete makes a much more suitable holding tank material.

Ancient techniques of winemaking would rely on clay or stone containers for the fermentation of wine. Like clay and stone, concrete is not an inert material and can actually house an ecosystem of tiny living organisms within its many tiny nooks and crannies. This is actually beneficial for the wine and can create wines that more closely resemble those from the Mediterranean, according to this article published by CBC News.

Yeast is one substance that can build up in the sides of the unlined concrete containers between batches of wine. This yeast can enhance the wine that ages within the container as it builds up, improving the fermentation process. For smaller winemakers, that means making a brand of wine that has more of a unique taste, helping set it apart from all the other wines that taste the same coming from stainless steel.

Using concrete to craft wines that closely resemble the vineyard classics of ancient Greece or Italy is a very intriguing new use for this material. The growing applications for concrete never fail to astound us here at Bergen Mobile Concrete. Make sure to visit back often for more intriguing news from the industry.

Hearing a Heartbeat through the Concrete

In a natural or manmade disaster, the collapse of buildings can often lead to numerous casualties by trapping innocent bystanders underneath. One of the first jobs of emergency responders is to search the wreckage and look for any survivors that may be found.

Even with specialized equipment, it’s a very difficult job to locate survivors perfectly. Radar equipment and other tools that search for signs of life often have their signals blocked or scattered by the piles of concrete and steel between those who are trapped and their rescuers. One new technology is currently being developed, however, that promises to give emergency responders a greater ability to detect life underneath rubble.

FINDER, which stands for Finding Individuals for Disaster Emergency Response, is a radar-based technology that is being jointly developed by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and NASA. This radar system is capable of detecting a human heartbeat behind 20 feet of solid concrete, or 30 feet of crushed material. In an open field, this system can detect a heartbeat 100 feet away.

A human heartbeat provides an incredibly weak signal when compared to other electrical network that could obscure other emergency response technology signals. However, FINDER is capable of being able to not only detect the electric signal given off by a heartbeat, but also can discern between human and animal heartbeats. The microwave-based radar technology would give emergency personnel a much quicker response time for locating survivors, which will go a long way in reducing death tolls in these tragedies.

As our society continues to look for sustainable methods of building construction that are structurally sound, concrete will likely have a growing role in our world. No one can predict a tragedy, but being better protected against one can help us go about our lives a little easier. Bergen Mobile Concrete is always staying on top of innovations related to concrete to bring the best available technology to each of our jobs.

*Image courtesy of Golkin Oleg

Reconstructing the Boardwalk at Rockaway Beach

Natural disasters have left an indelible mark on America over the past few years. From recent flooding in Colorado to the massive tornado in Moore, OK, earlier this year, Mother Nature has wrought a path of destruction that has left millions of dollars worth of damage in her wake. Although rebuilding from these events can take years, concrete has been widely used to quickly return ravaged areas to their original appearance and even improve building security in the face of future storms.

Hurricane Sandy was one such major weather event that rocked the Northeastern shoreline late in 2012. Miles upon miles of beachfront properties were wiped clear off the map as flooding from the hurricane caused major destruction far further inland than normal. Many of these properties were very costly, and rebuilding estimates are astronomical in certain areas. For example, the Boardwalk at Rockaway Beach, a five-mile long coastal summer attraction in Queens, was obliterated and will require about $200 million to rebuild, according to this piece by The New York Times.

The project to reconstruct the Boardwalk at Rockaway Beach will require some massive manual labor, with 4.7 miles of new decking and another 50,000 feet of railing planned for reinstallation. However, where most of the original construction of the boardwalk was made from wood, engineers are planning the construction of the new boardwalk primarily in concrete. Many feel that this will be a cost-effective measure that protects the area in case of another hurricane.

“We think in terms of making a big investment for the long term, concrete is a much better choice,” said Liam Kavanagh, New York City’s parks department’s first deputy commissioner, as quoted in the New York Times article. “It’s stronger than wood and lasts twice as long.” He and others pointed out that the concrete sections of the boardwalk fared much better against Sandy than the wooden areas.

Residents have suggested some interesting ideas for concrete installations that may also go a long way in improving the appearance of the rebuilt boardwalk. For instance, concrete embedded with sea glass or seashells could provide an interesting appearance for a coastal building foundation. Improved storm defenses and other amenities, like bike lanes or dog runs, have also been proposed.

Residents of northern New Jersey are well acquainted with the destructive nature of this and other hurricanes that have struck our region in recent years. Our concrete services can help you build a solid foundation for a structure to last years, whatever the weather throws at you. Rockaway Beach is an American landmark, an institution. Just listen to the song below!

Construction research advances in cities and regions across the globe

All over the world, eco-friendly concrete applications are being sought by companies who are realizing that respecting the environment can actually result in a number of financial benefits. Not only are steel-reinforced concrete structures costly to build, they leave behind a lot of unsalvageable materials when they get pulverized for deconstruction. However, an exciting new reinforcement method for concrete is being developed that can build strong structures while replacing steel with plant materials.

Recently, a collaborative partnership was announced between Trinity College, an Irish institution operating as a part of the University of Dublin, and India’s Vellore Institute of Technology (VIT). Trinity College has been involved with research into eco-friendly concrete reinforcements, and timber-reinforced concrete homes make up about 30 percent of local residences. The VIT will work with Trinity College to understand whether or not bamboo, a widely available local plant, can be used to reinforce concrete instead of steel.

Bamboo is an incredibly sturdy material that occurs naturally, especially in the rural areas of India. Applying the use of bamboo as a concrete reinforcement can greatly cut down on the region’s overall carbon footprint. Obviously, bamboo isn’t native to the European island nation of Ireland, but Trinity College has pledged to share its expertise in using natural concrete reinforcements with VIT and its researchers.

It’s becoming obvious to many just how strong an environmental impact can be felt through the use of alternative concrete design. The use of sturdy plant materials to construct buildings not only preserves precious natural resources for later use but also cuts down on the amount of pollution created during construction and demolition.

As construction research advances in cities and regions across the globe, American concrete providers need to work harder to make sure they stay ahead of the curve. Those in northern New Jersey can take advantage of the expertise of Bergen Mobile Concrete. We stay on top of the most exciting advances in concrete technology from all over the world to better serve your business or residential needs.


Is crushed concrete good for the environment?

Concrete may seem like a wasteful product to many. It’s great as a construction material, but if a building is demolished, all we see is a wrecking ball tearing into a wall and pulverizing the concrete into tiny bits. It may seem like there’s not a lot of reuse for this garbage, but researchers at the University of Southern Denmark are flipping this perception upside-down.

Since March 2013, researchers in that school’s biology department have been testing the ability of used, crushed concrete to remove phosphorus runoff from water. Phosphorus is used heavily in fertilizers across America. Rainwater can pull this phosphorus away from the soil and into waterways, where it can feed the growth of algae. Too much algae can deplete the oxygen in an aquatic environment, reducing the amount of life that can thrive underwater.

What those from the University of Southern Denmark have found is that when water containing phosphorus is sent through a filter of crushed concrete, the chemicals in the filter bind up the phosphorus and remove it from the water. Cement, a major component of concrete, contains calcium, aluminum and iron, each of which easily binds with phosphorus. Finely crushed concrete is capable of removing up to 90 percent of phosphorus from water running through it.

The experiments in Denmark have only been going on for about half a year, but researchers believe that a crushed concrete water filter can last for a period of several years. One issue is the high alkalinity of water once it passes through the concrete. Once the water has been cleaned, the pH balance rises to a level where it is unsafe for aquatic life. However, adding some acidity to the water to even out the pH level is possible, and it’s usually only required for the first six months of filter service. Once the filter has used up its binding capability, it can then be used for filler in road paving projects.

There is no such thing as wasted concrete. BergenMobile Concrete understands that the future of the concrete industry has big implications for the future of a sustainable world.


Is concrete going green?

Going green has been the cool thing to do in recent years for companies in all industries. Sustainability has been a growing discussion topic all over the world as we try to figure out new ways of adapting to limited resources. Although a lot of focus is placed on gasoline, electricity and carbon-based fuels, advances in construction materials have been going a long way to promote the interests of energy conservation.


The University of Calgary recently opened a brand new facility, the Energy Environment Experiential Learning (EEEL) building, one of North America’s most sustainable laboratory facilities. This building has the honor of being presented with a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum certification, one of the highest distinctions in green building technologies.


Much of this design success can be directly attributed to the advanced concrete technologies used to construct the building. Constructors used concrete formulated with an advanced treatment called Penetron Admix, which waterproofs the concrete. This is especially important in a laboratory facility, where managers do not want dangerous chemicals to stain the floor if spilled. Most of the EEEL building is constructed using this concrete formula.


Concrete also helps conserve energy in many ways through the EEEL, which uses up about 78 percent less energy than a laboratory facility of a similar size would. Underground tubes composed of the Penetron concrete help move air into the building for heating and cooling. The waterproof concrete also provides for cleaner storage of rainwater and recycled water used throughout the building’s plumbing.


Waterproof building materials have seemed like strange ideas in the past, but the benefits are undeniable. Concrete can allow for plenty of technological applications that can be mixed into the formula, making it a great choice as a superior building material for the future. With our finger on the pulse of the industry, Bergen Mobile Concrete can make sure to provide the latest in high-quality concrete for construction projects all over northern New Jersey.


*Image courtesy of Rathachai Namman

Out of the concrete comes electricity?

Access to electricity is a growing concern in our society. Every day, new applications for electricity are being discovered. The installation of above-ground power lines can become cumbersome as an electrical grid grows in capacity. New developments in concrete formulas, however, are allowing some to consider a future where electricity can travel through our roads and sidewalks the same way as power lines.


Canada’s National Research Council (NRC) has recently announced some developments in this area of innovation, discovered through the agency’s Building Envelope and Structure research organization. Usually, a concrete mixture is composed of water, cement and an aggregate such as gravel or sand. The NRC found that adding conductive aggregates, such as the carbon-based graphene, allows concrete to become electrically conductive as well.


This has some interesting implications for the future of concrete use around our country. Imagine sidewalks and roads that can heat themselves during the winter, getting rid of the snow and ice that can cause hazards for travelers of all kinds. Although these systems require a plug-in to current electrical systems, which could create excessive demands on a grid, some believe that alternative energies can be harnessed to develop electricity for direct use in concrete.


Electrically-powered roads could have many benefits for our society in the coming years, especially when considering the growing use of electric vehicles. Electrical currents within a road could power smart traffic systems that improve a driver’s traveling efficiency. With the proper sensors and hardware, developers of this concrete believe that it could even be used to prevent cyber-attacks. With the right industry support and corporate partnership, the NRC believes that cities could start developing and implementing this electric concrete within two years.


Bergen Mobile Concrete is always interested in the cutting edge of concrete and construction technology. If you need concrete services in northern New Jersey, make sure you choose the firm with its finger on the pulse of the industry.




*Image courtesy of Sergey Nivens

Bergen Mobile Concrete & Emerging Concrete Technologies

Concrete demolition is a job that has required some fairly wasteful processes up to now. Demolition machines are meant to pulverize the building material into rubble, leaving nothing useful left behind to repurpose into new buildings. A lot of water is sprayed to keep dust, which may contain harmful substances, from getting into the air. The waste is taken by dump truck to remote recycling facilities, where the materials that can be salvaged must still be separated.

New, evolving technologies in the demolition of concrete structures, however, may be able to reuse a high percentage of the prior building for new building projects. Concrete deconstructing robots, known as ERO machines, have been designed to disassemble concrete structures and separate materials for construction reuse.

These machines can scan a building environment to determine the most efficient route of deconstruction. The robot then travels along the surfaces of the building. It removes concrete from the walls through a process called hydro-demolition, which forces high-pressure water jets against the wall to strip away concrete while leaving the rebar support structure intact.

A separation technology known as a centrifugal decanter allows the wet concrete to be repurposed into materials that can be used for a new building project directly on-site. The centrifugal force of the spinning decanter is capable of separating the concrete from the water used to break it up. This effectively dries the concrete and allows it to be reused for other projects.

Bergen Mobile Concrete is well acquainted with emerging construction technologies. Our concrete buggy greatly improves the efficiency of any project. Our services also leave very little waste behind to worry about. Call us today if you have a concrete job that requires tools or service in northern New Jersey.