剑桥雅思18Test3Passage1阅读原文翻译 Materials to take us beyond concrete

剑桥雅思18Test3Passage1阅读原文翻译 Materials to take us beyond concrete 混凝土的替代材料


剑桥雅思18Test3Passage1阅读答案解析 Materials to take us beyond concrete 混凝土的替代材料

剑桥雅思18 Test3 Passage1阅读原文翻译


Concrete is the second most used substance in the global economy, after water – and one of the world’s biggest single sources of greenhouse gas emissions. The chemical process by which cement, the key ingredient of concrete, is created results in large quantities of carbon dioxide. The UN estimates that there will be 9.8 billion people living on the planet by mid-century. They will need somewhere to live. If concrete is the only answer to the construction of new cities, then carbon emissions will soar, aggravating global warming. And so scientists have started innovating with other materials, in a scramble for alternatives to a universal commodity that has underpinned our modern life for many years.



The problem with replacing concrete is that it is so very good at what it does. Chris Cheeseman, an engineering professor at Imperial College London, says the key thing to consider is the extent to which concrete is used around the world, and is likely to continue to be used. ‘Concrete is not a high-carbon product. Cement is high carbon, but concrete is not. But it is the scale on which it is used that makes it high carbon. The sheer scale of manufacture is so huge, that is the issue.’



Not only are the ingredients of concrete relatively cheap and found in abundance in most places around the globe, the stuff itself has marvelous properties: Portland cement, the vital component of concrete, is mouldable and pourable, but quickly sets hard. Cheeseman also notes another advantage: concrete and steel have similar thermal expansion properties, this article is from website, so steel can be used to reinforce concrete, making it far stronger and more flexible as a building material than it could be on its own. According to Cheeseman, all these factors together make concrete hard to beat. ‘Concrete is amazing stuff. Making anything with similar properties is going to be very difficult.’



A possible alternative to concrete is wood. Making buildings from wood may seem like a rather medieval idea, but climate change is driving architects to turn to treated timber as a possible resource. Recent years have seen the emergence of tall buildings constructed almost entirely from timber. Vancouver, Vienna and Brumunddal in Norway are all home to constructed tall, wooden buildings.



Using wood to construct buildings, however, is not straightforward. Wood expands as it absorbs moisture from the air and is susceptible to pests, not to mention fire. But treating wood and combining it with other materials can improve its properties. Cross-laminated timber is engineered wood. An adhesive is used to stick layers of solid-sawn timber together, crosswise, to form building blocks. This material is light but has the strength of concrete and steel. Construction experts say that wooden buildings can be constructed at a greater speed than ones of concrete and steel and the process, it seems, is quieter.



Stora Enso is Europe’s biggest supplier of cross-laminated timber, and its vice-president Markus Mannstrom reports that the company is seeing increasing demand globally for building in wood, with climate change concerns the key driver. Finland, with its large forests, where Stora Enso is based, has been leading the way, but the company is seeing a rise in demand for its timber products across the world, including in Asia. Of course, using timber in a building also locks away the carbon that it absorbed as it grew. But even treated wood has its limitations and only when a wider range of construction projects has been proven in practice will it be possible to see wood as a real alternative to concrete in constructing tall buildings.

斯多拉恩索(Stora Enso)是欧洲最大的交叉层压木材供应商,其副总裁马库斯·曼斯特罗姆(Markus Mannstrom)表示,公司观察到全球对木制建筑需求的日益增长。气候变化问题是其主要驱动因素。芬兰是斯多拉恩索所在地,拥有广阔的森林资源,一直走在木制建筑的前沿,但该公司文章来自也看到全球范围内,包括亚洲地区,对其木材产品的需求增长。当然,使用木制建筑还可以封存其生长过程中吸收的碳。然而,即使是经过处理的木材也有其局限性,只有在更广泛的建筑项目中经过实践验证后,才能将木材视为建造高层建筑的真正替代品。


Fly ash and slag from iron ore are possible alternatives to cement in a concrete mix. Fly ash, a byproduct of coal-burning power plants, can be incorporated into concrete mixes to make up as much as 15 to 30% of the cement, without harming the strength or durability of the resulting mix. Iron-ore slag, a byproduct of the iron-ore smelting process, can be used in a similar way. Their incorporation into concrete mixes has the potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.


But Anna Surgenor, of the UK’s Green Building Council, notes that although these waste products can save carbon in the concrete mix, their use is not always straightforward. It’s possible to replace the cement content in concrete with waste products to lower the overall carbon impact. But there are several calculations that need to be considered across the entire life cycle of the building – these include factoring in where these materials are being shipped from. If they are transported over long distances, using fossil fuels, the use of alternative materials might not make sense from an overall carbon reduction perspective.’



While these technologies are all promising ideas, they are either unproven or based on materials that are not abundant. In their overview of innovation in the concrete industry, Felix Preston and Johanna Lehne of the UK’s Royal Institute of International Affairs reached the conclusion that, ‘Some novel cements have been discussed for more than a decade within the research community, without breaking through. At present, these alternatives are rarely as cost-effective as conventional cement, and they face raw-material shortages and resistance from customers.’

虽然这些技术都有一定的前景,但它们要么尚未经过验证,要么需要稀缺的材料。在对混凝土行业创新的概述中,英国皇家国际事务研究所的费利克斯·普雷斯顿(Felix Preston)和约翰娜·莱恩(Johanna Lehne)得出结论:“一些新型水泥已经在研究界讨论了十多年,但尚未取得突破。目前,这些替代品很少像传统水泥一样具有成本效益,并且它们面临着原材料短缺和客户的抵制。”

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