How drones are revolutionizing the construction industry

Drones have been one of the fastest growing phenomenon’s in the last few years, both in terms of private and commercial use. To be the expansion into context, back in 2012 the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) estimated that by 2012, 30’000 drones will be operating in US airspace; at this current time (2016) around 2.5 million drones are operational in the United States, of which 500’000 are being used commercially. Unsurprisingly, the FAA has since revised their forecast and now predicts the country will have 7 million drones in the air by 2020.
Many believe drones are the next step in the process of the ‘industrial revolution’. Before the availability of the modern cranes and industrial equipment, we rely so heavily upon today, laborers would be forced to complete every single job on the construction site by hand. Jobs that today take months to complete would have in years gone by taken years, and in maybe 20 years time, the jobs we see today taking months could take weeks, thanks to the use of drones.
Assessing the earth for the foundations of construction is also something that a drone can be considerably more efficient for. Traditional land survey equipment gets the job done and provides accurate results, however, when the apt software is installed into a drone, it will also attain accurate result but it will complete the job in a time 85-percent quicker at a cost of 10 times cheaper than traditional methods.
Furthermore, the job a project manager is also made fundamentally easier through the assistance of drones. In years gone by builders manually assessed project dimensions, which would predominantly be unreliable, timely and costly.  By using drone data tools, the drone can automatically measure essential projects components, such as stockpile volumetric, whilst also sending instant feedback to the project manager who can begin analysis.
Drones are becoming increasingly common in day-to-day life but this is just for leisure, more importantly, drones are becoming more and more prevalent in a variety of industries but none more crucially than construction. Construction is an industry very much built on efficiency, in the sense of cost and time; hence the reason drones potentially have such a pivotal role to play, when the above reasons are taken into consideration.

You would be a brave person to bet against drones being a key player in the next industrial revolution.

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CHINA OFFICIALLY BANS “WEIRD” ARCHITECTURE

The Chinese government wants to officially put an end to the recent trend of bizarre architecture that’s swept the country. Years of strong economic growth had fueled a construction boom and the rise of strange and eye-catching architecture – from a teapot-shaped building to the Rem Koolhaas-designed CCTV skyscraper that looks like a pair of trousers. The ban came as part of a new State Council guideline released by the central government on Sunday.

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Chinese President Xi Jinping first called for an end to “weird architecture” back in 2014, when he harangued many of the country’s unusually shaped buildings, including copycat architecture of famous Western landmarks, from a replica of the U.S. Capitol to an entire clone of the UNESCO-protected Austrian Hallstatt village. According to the South China Morning Post (SCMP), the directive states that urban architecture should henceforth be “suitable, economic, green and pleasing to the eye,” and not “oversized, xenocentric, [and] weird.”

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More than just an eyesore, many of these odd urban monuments are also considered a misappropriation of taxpayer money. Liu Shilin, head of the Institute of Urban Science at Shanghai Jiaotong University, told SCMP that quite a few of these “weird” publicly funded buildings didn’t serve any civic purpose, were costly to maintain and were actually torn down soon after competition. The State Council directive has yet to release a set of criteria that defines “weird” architecture.

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Source: http://inhabitat.com/ (Lucy Wang)

HIGH SHANGHAI : SKYSCRAPERS IN THE BIGGEST CITY OF CHINA

China is the biggest expanding country in the world right now. With it’s population of over 1.35 billion, this ever-growing country has also BIG DREAMS to fulfill.

Literately, these dreams are made of metals. Lots and lots of metal are needed to build SKYSCRAPERS.

Especially in Shanghai, skyscrapers have an imposing figure in the city. You could even consider it’s main symbol  as an urban landscape view of buildings and skyscrapers.

The Bund, Shanghai (as seen on Google Images)

Therefore skyscrapers are not just basic human construction, they are symbols of economic success and prosperity of one’s city and country. Some people think that buildings mean a realized and achieved dream.

This building, called the SHANGHAI TOWER, is the tallest one in China and second world’s tallest with it’s 600 meter height and 128 floors.

As cited from dznworld.com :

As the skyline’s most prominent icon, the tower’s transparent, spiral form will showcase cutting-edge sustainable strategies and public spaces that set new standards for green community. Shanghai Tower will house Class-A office space, entertainment venues, retail, a conference center, a luxury hotel and cultural amenity spaces.

Like we said before, skyscrapers are synonym of economical success. The very name of this supertall skyscraper confirms it all : SHANGHAI WORLD FINANCIAL CENTER, is the second tallest building made in Shanghai.

China’s architectural design are known for it’s originality too. The Oriental Pearl Tower, with it’s famous shape is very well-known in the city and by others who have visited the city of Shanghai.

Closer look on the Pearl Tower

“The Golden Prosperity Building” also known as the Jinmao Building or Jinmao Tower again, reflects this idea of success in the city. 

There it is, Shanghai as China’s biggest city, offers also the tallest skyscrapers in the world. An international city like this one has to show the world and it’s people that it can keep up with everyone’s expectations. These skyscrapers are known worldwide for their outstanding height, as China’s economical situation and influence keep on growing to have higher goals in the future.

Simple elements like metal can contribute to achieve bigger dreams and that’s what Shanghai Metal Corporation can provide you !

As representatives of the metal industry, Shanghai Metal Corporation is one of the leading businesses in the manufacturing of metal quality products in the global field. As a major producer of stainless steel, copper, aluminium, steel and other metal products and service, we essentially are committed to the universal use that metal can offer by delivering overseas and promoting environmental sustainability.

To know more about our company please visit our website. Also follow us on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram. You can also download our new mobile application by scanning the QR code below.

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Maria // SMC Editor

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Maria // SMC Editor

Iron-air batteries: a cheap and eco-friendly solution for energy storage

After more than 40 after preparing the first prototype of a cheap , rechargeable, high energy density iron-air battery, researchers at the University of Southern California are now finishing the job of the patent-pending design of the battery.

The technical characteristics of the batteries look particularly well-suited to the kind of large-scale energy storage that could accelerate the adoption of renewable energy sources.

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Back in the 70’s, researchers were already working on environmentally friendly rechargeable lithium-ion batteries and only recent advances in materials technology have made this technology into one of the most common, high-performing solutions for today’s portable electronics.

Iron compared to other materials has a few advantages: it’s durable, it has a great capacity to pack energy (per unit of mass), it’s recyclable but most importantly it’s cheap with costs around US$1/kg (2.2 lb).

Iron-air batteries were first expected to be used for electric vehicles and military applications after the 1973 oil crisis. However, research stopped abruptly only years later, when scientists realized that iron-air batteries presented a serious  limitation: whenever the battery was being charged, a wasteful process of hydrolysis drained away about half of the battery’s energy.

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With today’s technology and advanced research, University of Southern California found a solution to this  problem. They learned that adding a small amount of bismuth sulfide into the battery shut down the harmful reaction and reduced the waste of energy more than tenfold, from 50 down to just 4% .

The other good characteristic cost-effective design of its iron electrode. The researchers combined iron powder with a polyethylene binder, heating the mix to obtain a “pressed-plate” electrode that is simple to make and has high specific energy.

The iron-air battery is exhibiting very promising durability, with a target life of 5,000 charge-discharge cycles. Even more importantly, the batteries seem to retain good performance when they are being drained quickly: at a two-hour rate of discharge, the batteries are showing a twenty-fold increase in capacity compared to commercially available electrodes.

Shanghai Metal Corporation encourages the development and innovation of new technologies. You can visit the company’s website , contact us and follow us on twitter and facebook for more information and news on metal.

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Use of Solar mirrors to Melt Metal, an efficient metal processing Method

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As manufacturing plants are being under pressure to reduce their energy spending, many countries and companies are trying to make progress in innovating. some researchers from Germany and South Africa have proposed a technique to reduce the emission in metal processing factories. and will use South Africa’s large aluminium processing industry as a test bed.

In addition to powering electricity-generating turbines , the large mirrors can also melt metals thanks to their ability to concentrate solar rays. The process helps reducing  carbon footprint of the metal processing industry.

The preliminary concept is going to be tested first in Germany at the Aerospace Centre’s (DLR) by the Institute of Solar Research in Julich before  launching it in South Africa.

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According to these researchers, solar mirrors would focus sun rays reaching 700°C to a rotary solar kiln which will be able to melt aluminum ore but also recycled aluminum objects. In addition the research team will develop a logistics plan to transport  the molten aluminium from the central solar melting plant to the production facilities where liquid metal will be processed.

“The aim of the project is to develop an energy and cost effective method that can be implemented across a variety of system sizes, depending on the requirements,” said Martina Neises-von Puttkamer, project manager at DLR.

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South Africa is a particularly interesting place to start the project because the country’s metal processing facilities rely mostly on electric energy coming from coal-fired power plants which brought them to become the 15th largest greenhouse gas emitter in the world. Also Metal processing is the country’s largest industry.

source: eandt.theiet.org

Shanghai Metal Corporation is specialized in manufacturing a wide variety of metal products and understand the importance of a green environment and efficient manufacturing. For more information, you can visit the company’s website or contact us for any inquiry.

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The Tallest Skyscrapers Made of STEEL

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Skycrapers above clouds – source: missions haringknowledge.com

The term skyscraper was originally used to describe buildings of 10 to 20 stories,

The increase in urban commerce in the United States in the second half of the 19th century augmented the need for city business. So the story of skyscrapers began in second part of the 19th century when steel became one of the cornerstones of the world’s industrial economy. Steel became available in large quantities and at low price and was quickly the material of choice for building construction. but by the late 20th century the word skycraper was used to describe high-rise buildings of unusual height, generally greater than 40 or 50 stories.

Thanks to Steel framing and steel reinforced concrete made curtain-wall architecture possible and the use of the material  made the evolution of skyscrapers possible by allowing them to reach new heights.

in 1895 The 10-storey (42 m high)Home Insurance Building was built in Chicago and was considered the first tall building to be supported by a steel skeleton of vertical columns and horizontal beams.
As skyscrapers grew taller, architects and engineers were faced with a new enemy: wind. They had to experiment with new styles and building methods in order to build taller and more innovative structures.

The following buildings are today’s 3 tallest buildings in the world and have all been possible thanks to the amazing properties of steel and the hard work of engineers and architects that brought many innovations in the metal field.

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Burj Khalifa, Dubai, UAE (829.8 m – 163 foors)

Burj Khalifa is the tallest man-made structure in the world it uses a bundled tube design (which is a system that uses a number of interconnected tube frames) and a composite of steel and concrete to hit its record height. Approximately 39,000 tonnes of steel bar were needed for the construction and 15.500 m2 of embossed stainless steel for cladding. Proportionally, the design uses half the amount of steel used in the construction of the Empire State Building thanks to the tubular system. 

Tokyo Skytree (634m – 29 floors)

tokyo skytree tower - source: wikipedia.org
tokyo skytree tower – source: wikipedia.org

The tower is the primary television and radio broadcast site for the Kantō region.
The structural steel columns of the tower are diagonally jointed at different angles, and their shapes differ from one another. Under these stringent conditions, engineers were required to solve the kind of problems that they have never experienced in past projects

Shanghai Tower, Shanghai (632m – 128 floors) 

Shanghai Pudong Panorama - source: wikipedia.org
Shanghai Pudong Panorama – source: wikipedia.org

The Shanghai Tower is the tallest building in China and the second-tallest in the world, surpassed only by the Burj Khalifa in Dubai. high strength steel, ultra-thick plates of over 100mm in thickness and other high-end construction steels have been used for the construction of the tower. In addition to that The design of the tower’s glass facade, which completes a 120° twist as it rises, is intended to reduce wind loads on the building by 24%. This reduced the amount of construction materials needed; the Shanghai Tower used 25% less structural steel than a conventional design of a similar height saving approximately US$58 million in material costs.

source : http://www.worldsteel.org, wikipedia.org 

Steel is an amazing material that is both economic and sustainable. That’s why Shanghai Metal Corporation manufactures and distributes a large range of Steel products of high quality all over the world.
For more information, you can visit the company’s website or contact us for any inquiry.

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Solar-Powered Water Wheel in Baltimore cleans 50,000 Pounds of Trash per Day

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source: http://www.nbcnews.com

If you go to Baltimore this summer,you might see a strange looking machine strolling slowly in the Harbor. This machine is called the Inner Harbor Water Wheel and its main task is to clean up the trash that gets thrown into the water.Powered by 30 solar panels and the water current, the wheel is able to remove approximately 50,000 pounds of trash per day. It’s estimated that the wheel will stay in use for at least 15 years and by 2020 the harbor will become clean enough to be used for recreational purposes.

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Baltimore solar powered wheel – source: healthyharborbaltimore.org

The wheel was invented by John Kellett and it works as follow: two orange booms help funnel debris towards the Wheel, where  trash is intercepted and pushed it onto a moving conveyer belt which empties out into a 16 yard dumpster, located on top of a floating dock. Once the dumpster is full, the dock is detached, hooked up to a boat, and then taken to a RESCO waste-to-energy plant, where the trash is incinerated and turned into electrical energy. The incredible machine has also a secondary use which is to put more oxygen into the water through the rotation of the waterwheel. It helps to attract more fish and improve habitat conditions and water quality. . As a project of the Healthy Harbor Living Laboratory, the Water Wheel also serves to educate people about storm-water management and the Inner Harbor.

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source: blog.savatree.com
images
source: nbcnews.com

The important element about the wheel is the material used. In fact Galvanizing was chosen as a coating because of its sustainability and its reaction to a constant contact with water. Galvanized steel has a very high resistance to humidity but also doeasn’t require costly maintenance over the next 15 years.  Another factor was keeping down maintenance costs to a project that already cost over $800,000 to put together.

source: inhabitat.com, galvanizeit.org

Shanghai Metal Corporation understand the importance of a green environment and is a manufacturer of Galvanized steel and many other products used for sustainable projects all over the world. For more information, you can visit the company’s website or contact us for any inquiry.

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Houria // SMC Editor