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US Air Force Patents Quick-Setting Concrete

Friday, October 16, 2020

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Earlier this week, the United States Air Force was granted a 20-year utility patent by examiners for a strong, quick-setting concrete.

The newly minted U.S. Patent 10,800,703 lists Jeffery Eichler, Kara Griffith, Derek Lovingood and Michael Henley as the inventors of the “cementitious material.” The team is part of the Air Force Civil Engineer Center at Tyndall Air Force Base in Florida.

Patent Concrete

The Air Force’s invention uses fly ash an activator made of a silicate solution including a monovalent hydroxide and cures in less than 65 minutes.

According to the patent, the invention fills the need for a pavement “using relatively small quantities of commercial products combined with indigenous or locally sourced materials. Such a need is particularly desirable in circumstances requiring rapid repair of roads, runways, and the like in the event of natural disasters such as hurricanes or earthquakes.”

U.S. Air Force photo by Grace Bland

Earlier this week, the United States Air Force was granted a 20-year utility patent by patent examiners for a strong, quick-setting concrete.

“Not only will this formulation reduce the logistical burden of transporting all the material to the site, it will also decrease shipping cost,” Griffith added.

While research for the project dates back to 2014, the mixture has since hosted successful real-world tests and demonstrations in July 2019, and in October, the team performed a second successful field evaluation in a dry placement pour.

“It was good to see from this study that I have fixed the activator formulation and it performed the same in the field as in the lab, which was a first,” said Griffith. “We also further simplified the formulation from three ingredients down to two.”

Having since issued the patent, commercial businesses can license the product from the Air Force, a step in the formulas entrance into commercial markets where public and private customers can buy it.

Currently, the Air Force’s national tech transfer intermediary, TechLink, is guiding the businesses through the licensing process.


Tagged categories: Building materials; Cement; Cementitious; concrete; NA; North America; Research and development; Tools & Equipment; U.S. Air Force

Comment from Tom Schwerdt, (10/16/2020, 2:34 PM)

I'm dubious about the longer term practicality of new fly ash uses because the source (coal plants) are shutting down pretty rapidly, and old fly ash is a totally different beast for producing concrete. Current usage is almost entirely fresh fly ash.

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