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Electric concrete could solve cold floor dilemma

A college professor at the University of Nebraska has invented concrete that can be heated. This technology could have a place in future home flooring installations.

Professor Chris Tuan of the University of Nebraska has invented a type of concrete that incorporates metallic material which, when an electric current is applied, causes the concrete to heat up.

The research has been funded by the United States Federal Aviation Administration to help keep tarmac in airports free from ice and snow. Using electricity is much easier and cheaper than applying sand, salt or chemicals to keep concrete clear of ice.

As part of his research, Professor Tuan has installed the material in his patio to monitor its performance.

So far, the new technology has only been tested in outdoor environments, but it is possible that the concrete could one day be used inside the home or workplace. There are many houses that have underfloor heating using heated loops, but some solid floor areas, such as the garage, are not suitable for this. Having a warm concrete garage floor may seem a luxury, but if the garage is used for storage or as a workshop, many home owners would welcome the ability to go into the garage in their stocking feet without feeling cold.

For those deciding on a new solid flooring in their North Wales home, it may be worth considering adding underfloor heating, since winters in the area are invariably cold and wet.

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