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Press release No 14/2015 of 16 December 2015

Stones on stone: concrete as data recording medium for music

Ricardo Kocadag from the Department Safety of Structures in the Bundesanstalt für Materialforschung und -prüfung (BAM) did not choose vinyl or polycarbonate, from which records and compact discs are produced, as the data recording medium for the song "(I can get no) satisfaction" by the Rolling Stones, but ultra-high performance concrete (UHPC) in the form of a concrete record.

UHPC is a mixture of cement, aggregates, additives, admixtures and water. As a mass building material, it is extremely versatile for the construction of bridges or buildings. Now concrete has a new feature: it can be used for the production of data carriers – for example as a record.

For this purpose, the surface of UHPC has been provided with new features that go beyond the conventional scope of a building material and complement it. This surface functionalisation at the microstructural level now also enables data to be saved and replayed on UHPC.

"With this record made from UHPC, we want to show that surface functionalisation can adapt material properties to their respective requirements and applications. The UHPC record shows that concrete can do more than just be a building material" explains Ricardo Kocadag.

"Our UHPC record can be played on any conventional record player – and in excellent quality", adds Dr. Götz Hüsken, who contributed to the optimisation process.

Concrete and its innovative developments such as UHPC fit into BAM’s key topics. They not only include the evaluation of the safety and durability of these building materials but also their innovative applications. BAM scientists working in the field of safety of structures are researching into how distinctive properties of the UHPC can be "adjusted" by adding superplasticisers, fine fillers and reactive additives. They can, for example, correctly model any structure down to the micro level, which enables a lasting functionalisation of concrete surfaces, as is seen in this record.

BAM has been developing and validating analysis procedures, test methods and evaluation methods and models and required standards for more than 100 years. BAM is working for a strong safety culture in Germany and safety standards that will also meet the highest requirements in the future. Safety creates markets.

Dr. rer. nat. Ulrike Rockland
Phone: +49 30 8104-1003

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Ulrike Rockland
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