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Conductive concrete melting a sidewalk in front of a building.
Conductive concrete melting a sidewalk in front of a building.

Conductive concrete is paving the way for Nebraska Engineering professors Chris Tuan and Lim Nguyen. 

With help from NUtech Ventures and global manufacturer Aurubis, Tuan’s and Nguyen’s conductive concrete invention is being tested on a 700-square foot walkway between two Aurubis buildings in Pirdop, Bulgaria. 

This conductive concrete application is being used with an iron-rich sand material, a by-product of Tuan’s and Nguyen’s copper production. 

“We both did some tests and it turns out the iron-rich sand works very well,” Tuan said. “Aurubis did a very good job. The system is operational. And this proves you don’t have to be a well-trained person in electrical applications to use it or install it.” 

Because this technology – engineering running through concrete – is very new, having the collaboration with Aurubis has workedvery smoothly as the iron-rich sand application has resulted in new exposure for conductive concrete. Aurubis is a leading manufacturer of non-ferrous metals. 

“NUtech is really the hero behind the scene,” Tuan added. “They work hard and they’re great cheerleaders for our faculty and our inventions. We can just give it to them and let them run.” 

Using iron-rich sand as opposed to copper will also impact the invention making the installation process more affordable, which is important to making conductive concrete more universal.

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