On Tuesday, November 28, BUA junior Zach Daniel ’25 presented a paper entitled “Potential Applications of Electrically Conductive Concrete” at the Materials Research Society’s conference at the Hynes Convention Center. Zach’s research, which he carried out in partnership with three other students from area schools, explored special concrete that conducts electricity for de-icing roads, controlling surface temperature, and turning heat into energy.
Zach shares that, in conducting experiments for the project, “we made concrete samples with materials like carbon fibers, iron powder, and steel wool. Results showed that 5% iron powder and 15% steel wool worked well, but too much iron powder made the concrete weak.We also looked at adding materials that change from solid to liquid (PCM) to control temperature. The study found that PCM delayed temperature increase during heating. Additionally, we tried generating electricity from the heat in the concrete using a method called the Seebeck Effect. Results showed potential for using this to produce electricity. In conclusion, our research suggested that using this special concrete could be a more eco-friendly way to de-ice roads, control temperatures, and generate electricity.”