Sharjah: A research team from the American University of Sharjah (AUS) and the Sharjah Research Technology and Innovation (SRTIP) is all set to open the precast building made of conductive concrete used for shielding.
The innovative building uses a concrete mix that provides protection from electromagnetic pulses (EMP), otherwise known as electronic sabotage, for the protection of vital civilian and military infrastructure. Two patents have already been filed with the United States Patent and Trademark Office for the technology.
The groundbreaking invention was the brainchild of two lead researchers who first collaborated in 2009, which are Dr. Nasser Qaddoumi of the AUS Department of Electrical Engineering and Dr. Sherif Yehia of the AUS Department of Civil Engineering.
They worked together to investigate the various uses of conductive concrete, which started out with heating applications and later grew to include looking into the material’s shielding properties.
During the process, both researchers expressed gratitude to their undergraduate and graduate students for helping them with their work. These students helped with research, measurements, prototype development, and even starting their own studies in areas that were relevant to the work that the two researchers were doing. This gave students valuable, hands-on experience throughout the implementation of the project.
The researchers plan to investigate future opportunities for collaboration with industry partners in order to broaden the scope of their work and make it more applicable. One of the project’s primary goals is the development of innovative concrete materials, which will support the building sector’s expansion and aid in protecting electric grids, generators, and buildings housing sensitive equipment and data from electromagnetic pulses (EMPs). Furthermore, working together with ready-mix and precast manufacturers will guarantee knowledge transfer to the building sector.
The key advantages of conductive concrete are: shielding against EMP without the need for any special additions; improved mechanical properties; relatively lower costs compared to other shielding techniques; and the ability to be produced as precast units.