Home » NERD takes one step closer to commercialising graphene-enhanced concrete

NERD takes one step closer to commercialising graphene-enhanced concrete

by Sion Geschwindt
Nationwide Engineering Research & Development (NERD) has taken one step closer to commercialising its graphene-enhanced concrete - Concretene.

Nationwide Engineering Research & Development (NERD) has taken one step closer to commercialising its graphene-enhanced concrete – Concretene – with the signing of a Tier 1 agreement with the University of Manchester’s Graphene Engineering Innovation Centre (GEIC).

Under the agreement, NERD will have access to a dedicated lab, state-of-the-art concrete testing facilities and to the university’s “unrivalled academic and engineering expertise in nanomaterials”.

The self-professed “home of graphene”, the University of Manchester first isolated the nanomaterial in 2004, and soon discovered that its 2D nature provides a unique combination of strength, flexibility, lightness, and conductivity.

These characteristics, it turns out, also help decarbonise cement production – responsible for 8% of global carbon emissions.

In collaboration with the university, NERD developed Concretene by adding small amounts of graphene during the cement making process.

Results show that when deployed on active construction projects, Concretene is up to 30-50% stronger than standard concrete and produces 30% less emissions.

In December, NERD announced funding of £8m from venture capital firm Local Globe to help drive the programme of research and development required to bring Concretene to full commercial use.

“There’s still a journey to go on – R&D in this area is challenging – but the partnerships we’re building with the University and with high-profile industry clients give us the best chance of success,” said Alex McDermott, co-founder of NERD.

James Baker, CEO of Graphene@Manchester, agrees, adding that while the partners are still at a relatively early stage along the road to commercialisation, the new Tier 1 partnership will greatly help Concretene achieve its full potential.

NERD envisions a three-year journey to the rollout of Concretene to the wider construction industry, alongside technical partner Arup and leading infrastructure bodies including Heathrow and Manchester Airports, Network Rail, National Highways and the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority.

It is projected that these early adopters will see immediate benefits through reductions in embodied carbon, while providing a testbed that will ultimately help the technology scale.


Read next: Skanska’s basalt rebar concrete paves the way for net zero roads

Are you a building professional? Sign up for a FREE MEMBERSHIP to upload news stories, post job vacancies, and connect with colleagues on our secure social feed.

Leave a Comment

Related News

Online building news, features and opinions

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More