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Researchers at Lancaster University have developed a fly ash and alkaline solution cement mixture that is capable of conducting and storing electricity. The mixture, a potassium-geopolymeric (KPG) composite, conducts electricity through potassium ions that pass through the crystalline structure. The mixture can store and discharge between 200 to 500 watts per square meter.

The mixture can also be used to sense mechanical stress on structures caused by cracks, which alter its conductivity. When measuring the changes in the way potassium ions move, the structural health of a building can be detected automatically without additional sensor installation. Researchers are carrying out further work to optimize the performance of the KPG mixture and explore the incorporation of 3-D printing techniques.

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