Concrete that cleans itself … could it be true? Self-cleaning concrete sounds like it could be something out of a movie.
But guess what? It is a real product, and it is already successfully being used in parts of the world, including Japan and parts of Europe.
How does self-cleaning concrete work?
Self-cleaning concrete works by taking fresh concrete mix and adding a catalytic material to it. Usually, the catalyst is titanium dioxide, which begins working when sunlight hits it.
Once it is activated, the charge within the titanium dioxide creates resistance between the concrete. Anything that is on it, such as dirt, debris, or other pollutants, is broken down into basic oxygen, water, and carbon dioxide molecules.
Once the concrete gets wet, all the dirt or debris is washed off, and the concrete is clean.
This material is commonly used in the construction of roads, concrete sidewalks, tilt-up concrete panels, and bridges.
What are the advantages and disadvantages?
Self-cleaning concrete helps maintain the aesthetic of large cement structures for many years. It also helps decompose harmful gases and assists in minimizing environmental pollution. It also maintains its color longer than other traditional building concrete.
However, this type of concrete is not generally recommended for inside use, because it needs sunlight to activate the catalytic material.
It is also not resistant to graffiti, so it is not recommended for areas that are prone to that.
In addition, some opponents of the product are concerned about the pollutants that are being washed into groundwater, rivers, or lakes. For example, if harmful nitrates are washing into the water, it could cause a problem for aquatic ecosystems.
Wondering if self-cleaning concrete is the right product for your specific project? Our expert and experienced team at Rogue Valley Precast can help answer questions and determine what your project needs and if self-cleaning concrete is an option.
Contact us today for more information!