Perspective: Concrete is undoubtedly one of the most used building materials in the world. Known for its durability and resilience, the compound can fail due to factors such as erosion and degradation, which directly affects its overall strength. Researchers at the University of Illinois have teamed up with Meta AI to develop artificial intelligence to create, refine and test new formulas that deliver higher strength concrete while lowering carbon requirements.

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Meta the team worked with professors Lav Varshney and Nishant Garg from University of Illinois train the initial model using the Concrete Compression Strength dataset. A data set of over 1,000 formulas, their attributes, and associated strength data served as the basis for validating the properties of the new mixture against the Cement Sustainability Initiative’s tools and standards.

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As a result of the study, the team selected several potential formulas that will be subjected to further analysis, testing and refinement until they surpass standard strengths while reducing carbon requirements by up to 40%. This reduction is a significant achievement and represents a significant reduction in the overall carbon footprint of the material. The billions of tons of concrete produced worldwide can account for up to 8% of the world’s annual global CO2 emissions.

Concrete is usually made up of cement, aggregate, water, and other substances known as admixture. Of these four, cement is usually the most carbon-intensive component of the mixture. The ability to learn AI greatly speeds up the ability to test and validate the use of other aggregates and ratios to achieve the desired mix properties with less cement.

Advances in concrete formulations represent another real-world application of artificial intelligence and machine learning platforms that have proven effective in solving many of today’s challenges. Last year, scientists from Harvard and Nvidia teamed up to develop deep learning toolkits to improve the overall performance of sparse and single cell experiments. Sony AI TasteGraphwhich was developed after Google Cloud AI appeared as a guest on Excellent British pastry, uses information at the molecular level to identify and match ingredient combinations. As technology advances, we will likely see AI contribute more and more to our daily lives and the world around us.

Image credit: stone computer according to anatherite