China may have some of the tallest buildings in the world, but are they structurally sound?
As reported by Wired, the recipe to make concrete -- cement, aggregate and water -- has mixed results depending on the aggregate and cement used, as well as the proportions used. Chinese manufacturers using low-cost materials could be placing Chinese cities at risk.
The "sand scandal" is the result of state officials inspecting a number of buildings currently being constructed in cities including Shenzhen. To their dismay, they found that concrete was being made with raw, unprocessed sea sand. Using untreated sea sand may be cheaper than river sand, but as it contains chlorine and salt, it will corrode steel. Weaken steel supports on skyscrapers and you have a problem.
One of these buildings was meant to become China's tallest, the Ping’an Finance Center at 660m. State officials have since suspended construction.
15 buildings in total were being constructed with the inferior concrete, and this in turn has sent the share prices of businesses involved plummeting.
Image credit: Flickr/tokyoform
This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com