Does 3D laser scanning help decarbonize the concrete industry?

escaneo láser 3D

The implementation of 3D laser scanning emerges as a valuable tool for the concrete industry, playing a crucial role from the beginning of the pouring process to the final stages of adjustments, thus contributing to the initiative of reducing carbon emissions .

Regardless of the field, be it radio astronomy, computing, power generation, etc., adding the prefix “giga” to a term confers considerable significance. This fact is particularly relevant for the concrete industry and atmospheric studies, two sectors that increasingly use the term “gigatons.” Specifically, they refer to the 38 billion to 41 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide released annually (from 2011 to 2020) due to human activities and the need to find more effective ways to reduce the production of this gas and other chemical compounds that contribute to global warming.

While a significant part of the world focuses on decarbonizing the global electricity grid and accelerating the transition to electric vehicles, the construction and concrete industries fully recognize their own responsibility when it comes to carbon emissions.

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Reducing carbon dioxide pollution is not only vitally important for the concrete industry, but also for the overall well-being of the planet. In this context, the use of 3D laser scanning is presented as a valuable alternative compared to more conventional measurement methods.

Within the workflows associated with concrete, 3D technology, which now includes a specific application for floor leveling and flatness developed by FARO, a part of Sphere, is generating a transformative impact throughout the entire process. pouring and curing.

How does the use of 3D laser scanning benefit the concrete industry?

Quickly streamlining the job completion process, reducing the need for rework and eliminating waste. Instead of relying on an outside contractor to validate the accuracy of a pour, which sometimes means waiting up to 48 hours, determining floor flatness and levelness can be accomplished in a matter of minutes. Most notably, any discrepancies in the concrete, such as high spots, low spots, or leveling issues, can be rectified while the concrete is still in its wet phase.

On initial assessment, this might seem trivial, but it is this incremental efficiency, which is multiplied across the concrete industry, that really adds up. This translates into potentially significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.

Secondary benefits are also derived. From a financial perspective, consider being a contractor who completes two projects a month. By performing a single scan and analyzing the results while the concrete is still in its wet phase, a contractor has the opportunity to save up to 90% of the costs associated with rework, which typically result from waiting for the concrete to cure and repairing problem areas identified by third parties.

In this scenario, the additional capital available allows funds to be redirected towards other sustainable solutions. Perhaps, with this additional income, the contractor can install a solar system, purchase an electric vehicle, or take on new building demolition projects in an environmentally friendly manner. The possibilities are diverse, but the key is that additional funds provide greater flexibility.

The concrete industry and carbon emissions

Undoubtedly, confronting and reversing the impacts of global warming caused by anthropogenic CO 2 emissions will not be a simple task. Even if the concrete industry managed to become a fully circular system and a net-zero carbon emitter by mid-century, the world would still have a long way to go before it could declare “mission accomplished.”

With cement being its key component, this material, the second most consumed in the world after water, requires the concrete industry to assume its responsibility to address this challenge that transcends generations and borders.

Thirty-eight gigatonnes of CO 2 emissions per year represent a considerable figure. However, it is crucial to note that this number had a tiny start, experiencing incremental increases decade after decade and century after century.

Likewise, it is feasible to carry out incremental reductions. With the assistance of 3D laser scanning at every stage of the concrete workflow, from first pour to final adjustments, the industry could achieve incremental gains that cannot yet be quantified with certainty.

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