Calling all concrete aficionados out there! Today's guest is none other than concrete geek Tyler Ley himself. In this episode, drawing on his professional experience and years of research, he’ll make you crazy about concrete, too — but maybe not as much as he is.
Tune in to Learn:
- Why concrete is the greatest material on the planet
- Sustainability: what does the future look like for concrete and those who work with it?
- An essential material with more CO2 emissions than concrete most people don't know of
- The secret to making good use of concrete's carbon footprint — and how to reduce it
- A problem with concrete known for years with no official method to measure it…until now
- Baby aspirin for concrete: two kinds of “concrete medicine” that makes it better
- What's Ultra-High Strength Concrete? Where is it used? How is it made?
- Specific career paths for concrete enthusiasts who want to work with it
- How you can help with improvements in the concrete field as a working civil engineer
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Transcript of Show
You can get our transcript of the show below!
Isaac Oakeson: Hey! what's going on, everybody? Isaac here with Civil Engineering Academy. I'm excited today about our podcast episode. If you haven't liked this or subscribed, please do so and share it with a friend. We love getting the word out about Civil Engineering Academy. And also, you know what, if you're preparing for your exams, we're obviously here to help you on your journey to pass those. So if you need to pass your FE or your PE exam, go check out our resources at civilengineeringacademy.com, where we have exams. We have practice problems that are free right here on our YouTube channel, if you're listening to this on YouTube. And we also have courses that will help you ace those exams, and we love sharing them. So definitely check those out.
Isaac Oakeson: But today I bring on professor Tyler Ley. He is a professor at Oklahoma State University, and he's a concrete net. I don't know how else to put it. But he loves, loves, loves concrete. I have followed him on YouTube. He's got a wonderful YouTube channel. You should go check it out. Really passionate about concrete, has a great personality. I love the vibe that he has on the channel. And you know, if I was a student and still going through school, I would probably try to take a class from him, because he just makes a topic very enjoyable.
Isaac Oakeson: We talk all things concrete, everything to deal with concrete .Where concrete is now, where it's headed, how to question the processes of things, and really how we, as engineers, can help improve concrete and its lifespan, its durability, making it cheaper, more sustainable. All the aspects of concrete where we can improve. It's the most used product. I mean, outside of water, that we use everywhere. And it's good stuff. So we talk all about it. I really enjoyed this interview and I think you're gonna enjoy it, too. It's with Tyler Ley, and it's coming up right after this.
Isaac Oakeson: All right, Tyler. What is going on? Thanks for joining me on the Civil Engineering Academy Podcast. It's good to have you.
Tyler Ley: Thanks so much, Isaac, for having me. I'm super excited to be here and share whatever I can with your audience. It's gonna be fun.
Isaac Oakeson: I love it. So we kind of connected -- For those listening, actually my brother, Mark, heard you at one of these conferences. I can't remember which one. But he thought you would be a fun guest to have on the show. I know you've got a real passion for concrete, and you teach. So could you give us, I guess, a little bit about your own background into civil engineering and how you dived into concrete? How you got into that world?
Tyler Ley: Sure. I grew up in Oklahoma and I was an undergraduate at Oklahoma state university. And when it was my sophomore year, I still remember there was a guy that came to visit named Bryant Mather. He's one of the epic concrete people. He was at the Army Corps of Engineers and he gave a talk at the ASCE meeting that night, and you know, all the good students all went to the ASCE meetings to catch up and see what was going on. And Bryant Mather gave this amazing talk and, like, the hair on the back of my neck literally stood up for like three days, all right?
Tyler Ley: And I was freaked out. I was just enamored with concrete. Then I took my first concrete class and it was awesome. And it was love -- I just fell in love with how simple it was, how flexible it is, but yet how complex it is, like, simultaneously, and how much good it does for people every single day. And how much we don't even realize how much good it's doing for us. Like, I bet you couldn't have lived your life today, at least not at the same level that you did, without concrete. And it's the second most used commodity in the world. That's unbelievable, right? I mean, just unbelievable.
Isaac Oakeson: I love it. Well, I love your energy and your passion for this. I do think it's a neat subject to talk about because I do think that, even engineers, but most people in general, in the public, just have no clue why this is such a neat material and how often it's used and where it's used as part of their daily life. So I guess, why in your opinion is concrete the greatest material on the planet? Is there a couple things outside of that?
Tyler Ley: Dude, that's easy. It's rock, it's sand, it's cement, it's water. It's stuff you can dig up in your backyard and make -- And then, to make cement, you have to, like, cook rock and sand. But you can dig up rock and sand pretty much anywhere. And you make this stuff that can last generations. You make this stuff that can help your kids, help your kids' kids, help all your neighbors make their lives better. I mean, oh my gosh! It's just simple, you know? And it costs 5 cents a pound. 5 cents a pound. What else can you think that last generations that help so many different people that only cost 5 cents a pound?
Tyler Ley: But I'll tell you the complexity of concrete is unbelievable. For something that we use so much, there's so much that we're still learning. So much knowledge and tools that we still need. And I think it's awesome. And it's so also tied into, you know, just how the industry works, and how the business works, and how people pay for it and fund it and build with it. I mean, there's so many bits and pieces and sides to it that it's just, "every day is a great day, baby." You get to learn even more. I mean, I love it.
Isaac Oakeson: So 5 cents a pound. That's cheap. Has it not gone up at all with the times?
Tyler Ley: Yeah. I think, you know, we're talking in really unique times right now, right? And it might have gotten up to about six cents a pound, all right?. But I don't think it'll be too much longer before it goes down again, all right? But 5 cents a pound is pretty amazing. I mean, if you compare to steel, it's more like a dollar-ish a pound, you know what I mean? And if you compare to fudge, my favorite thing to compare concrete to, you know, fudge tastes much better and it costs around -- Well, it used to cost around 12 bucks a pound. Now I think it's more up to like 15 or so, or 16. And that's an international study there on fudge. But yeah. I mean, you know, it's just fun to kind of benchmark these things, and fudged tastes great. But I wouldn't wanna drive on it. You know what I mean? I don't know about you.
Isaac Oakeson: No, no. Yeah. I don't wanna drive on that either. That's awesome. So where do you see the future of concrete heading? What's out there? What are things looking like for concrete?
Tyler Ley: Yeah. Sustainability is, and is going to continue to be, a big focus for concrete. Concrete produces 5% of the world's CO2. And a lot of people, they just stop right there. And what we need to say next, as a public, is "Do you know why?" Do you know why it produces 5% of the world's CO2? It's because it's the second most used material on the planet.
Isaac Oakeson: It's everywhere.
Tyler Ley: It's everywhere. Ubiquitous. Do you know -- I mean, water, producing water, just clean water, it produces about 10 to 15% of the world's CO2, depending on what numbers you actually look at. 10 to 15% of the world's CO2 is spent making clean water. We never complained about that. Why? Because it's essential. Concrete's pretty similar. It's essential. We need it. But we need to make it better. So don't ever -- I'm not saying that it's good enough. I'm not saying that. I'm just saying that there's a reason why the carbon footprint is large, and there's going be a massive, massive amount of work. I'm doing a lot of work on it. There's a lot of people around the world doing a lot of work on it to make it better. And we're chipping away, chipping away and making it better and better and better all the time, reducing the amount of actual CO2.
Tyler Ley: And the secret is reducing the amount of clinker. That's what comes out of a cement kiln. Producing the cement is really -- I mean, the cement is about 90% of the carbon footprint. Or the binder, the cement plus the other things we put in, is about 90% of the carbon footprint of concrete. So anything you can do to reduce the amount of cement makes that concrete better. But, makes it better for sustainable reasons. And also sometimes it can make it perform better as well. I know people say, "No, no. Don't take the cement out." But if you know what you're doing, you can make long-lasting, great-performing, some of the best concrete on the planet by removing cement. It's pretty awesome.
Tyler Ley: But you know, if we can do things to make concrete more durable, I'm a big, big fan of that. If I can make it last longer, yeah, it's gonna cost CO2. But if I can make it last 60, if I can make it last 200 years long, I mean, that's money, that's CO2 well spent, you know what I mean?
Isaac Oakeson: Yeah.
Tyler Ley: And I think that's what we need to be focusing on. So I've got a lot of work I'm doing to make concrete more durable. We've got ways to measure fresh concrete, when you're just making it, to make sure that it is gonna last that long. Like, how in the world would you ever do that? Well, one thing that's a problem is the amount of water in concrete.
Tyler Ley: Making concrete is kind of like making Kool-Aid. If you make the Kool-Aid too dilute, you know what I mean, right? I mean, It just doesn't taste right, right? It's just like "ééérr", you know what I mean? And having too much water inside concrete is the same thing. It dilutes the cement grades, it moves them further apart. It actually makes it less strong. And it actually makes it easier for outside chemicals to penetrate. And so it doesn't last as long.
Tyler Ley: So we have a new technique that we actually developed that measures the amount of water in fresh concrete. It's called the Phoenix. And we've known that this is a very important parameter for like a hundred years, and there's no established method to measure it. Isn't that insane? Isn't that totally insane? You know when you write down a mix design and you say, "Oh, a 0.45 water to cement ratio." There's no way to measure that in the field. They say, "Oh, batch tickets size." Well, batch tickets are good guess. But there's ways water can find its way into the mix sometimes, and this is a test to help with that.
Tyler Ley: You know, there's other things like, air bubbles in concrete. Like, air. Why would I put air in concrete? Air isn't very strong, but air bubbles are actually the key to freeze-thaw durability. To making sure that when that concrete gets wet and freezes, I know in Utah that's a big deal there.
Isaac Oakeson: Yes. Salt, too.
Tyler Ley: Oh, man. Salts. Yeah. Salt's a big deal too. We gotta make sure that we get the right air void system. It's not just about volume. It's about the air void spacing. So we've actually developed tools that can measure that. And these things are being used by people in the field. So, I try not to just talk about stuff. I implement stuff. I get it out there. Because changing the industry is how we truly make change for the future. We can talk about things and draw things on, you know, pieces of paper. But really changing our specifications, changing our practices, that's how we make an impact. And I'm all about impact, baby.
Isaac Oakeson: Well, I love it. And those are things you're doing at the university that you're implementing out in the field?
Tyler Ley: That's right. It's exactly right.
Isaac Oakeson: It's like your own little playground over there then.
Tyler Ley: Oh, man. I've got a 35,000 square foot concrete playground that I get to work with every single day. Man, I live, breath, sleep, dream concrete, man. That's what I'm all about. I'm all about making it faster, better, cheaper, more durable, more sustainable. That's my mantra every day.
Isaac Oakeson: How do you generate the ideas for, like, maybe what you want to experiment or test on? Is that coming from students? Or do you have a book of ideas you jot down all the time and, "Hey, let's try this out and see where it goes." How are you generating some ideas on how to make it faster, cheaper, better, and more durable?
Tyler Ley: Yeah. Excellent question. So I go to a lot of conferences and I meet a lot of people, and I ask a lot of questions and I listen to what a lot of people say. I've also been in this industry. I worked in this industry as an engineer. I was a contractor. And I got so much stuff that I learned, and there are so many problems that we need to work on. And you can take that two ways. You can see that as, "Oh my God, we have so many problems" or you can see it as like "Baby, we got work to do." And every problem is an opportunity. And that's the way, you know, I look at it.
Tyler Ley: But truly, Isaac, to solve a problem, you have to have somebody that's interested enough in it to fund it. Does that make sense what I'm saying?
Isaac Oakeson: Yes.
Tyler Ley: Like, like someone that it's a big enough issue to them that they're willing to put the money up to try to make an impact on it, to solve it. And so I get grants from, like, the federal government. I have a big grant from FAA right now. I have a big grant from DoD Grant right now. Where all of them have big problems that they're trying to solve, and they want my help to solve them. So they fund my students, they fund the testing, they fund the research. We do more than a million dollars a year, out of my group, in research every single year to try to make the concrete industry better. So it's awesome. I do have a lot of ideas, but sometimes it's not the right time for an idea.
Tyler Ley: I hope that makes sense. What I'm saying. Sometimes you have to wait until things are set up. So I just get lucky that I get to do so much great stuff. And I get so lucky that I get to work with so many great people. I've got an amazing group around me. My students have great ideas and it's so much fun to work with them. And I always say, I help build tools, but I help build people to make the concrete industry better. And that's what I get excited about. So thanks for asking the question.
Isaac Oakeson: I love it. And it sounds like you're making a big impact there. So that's really awesome. I was thinking about the question and the comment that we talked about earlier about this being, how much CO2 is admitted. And you said a lot of times, as engineers, we just kind of leave it there. And I was thinking, it shouldn't, maybe another half of that conversation, be what kind of energy efficiencies that we're getting from the use of concrete? Because we are using it everywhere. And maybe what that does in terms of savings on, you know, generation or power or things of that nature where it all kind of trickles down into other industries. So, I mean, have you looked into that or talked about that topic as well?
Tyler Ley: Yeah. I think the key is to figure out that we use our materials in the right way for the right application. And concrete, pound for pound, is one of the most sustainable materials on the planet. It's just that we use so much of it, that's why the concrete footprint is so large. So if I'm doing like a concrete sewer pipe, or you know, a sewer pipe in general, I mean, there's not that many other things that can even remotely compete with it. There's a few. There's a few. And there's some that are up and coming, and we need those up and comers. We need new ideas. We need competition. That's what drives people to get better and better and better, again and again and again.
Tyler Ley: But, yeah. I mean, for sure. That goes back to the durability thing that I was telling you about before. If you can make a material that can last a long period of time, I mean, you don't have to rebuild it. You don't have to repair it. You don't have to go back to it. If you can make a material that insulates really, really well, and you can design concrete to be extremely insulative, then that's super helpful as well. So you just have to figure out. Now, I wouldn't wanna use it for a window, you know what I mean?
Isaac Oakeson: Exactly.
Tyler Ley: I wouldn't wanna use concrete for, you know, a stint in my heart or something like that. You know what I mean? So, I'm not saying, it's everywhere. I'm just saying, I think it's amazing.
Isaac Oakeson: That's awesome. Well, I think one of the fun things you have, you have a popular YouTube channel talking about all things concrete. And in that, in a couple of your videos, you talk about baby aspirin. What baby aspirin is for concrete. Could you just describe what you mean by that?
Tyler Ley: Sure, sure. So, baby aspirin is like that medicine that you take a really small dosage of that does amazing things for you. You know, like a baby aspirin for your heart. It just makes your blood run better. And so, we need things like that inside concrete, because if you get heavily medicated concrete, heavily chemical concrete, it causes all kinds of side effects, just like medicine and us.
Tyler Ley: So we've been focusing on using things like shrinkage-reducing admixtures, SRAs. But using them at about one third to one fourth the typical dosage. So what that means is, it reduces the amount of cracking, the amount of shrinkage cracking -- Again, in Utah, that's another story, my friend. Lot of cracking there. And you can do it without having other side effects. Like, it doesn't affect your strength that much, doesn't affect your cost that much, and it doesn't affect your ability to entrain air that much.
Tyler Ley: So, another one out there that I love is fibers. So macro synthetic fibers. I'm a big fan of. They are fibers that are usually about two inches or so long that are made out of plastic. Those are the ones that I like the most, but there's still ones out there that are good as well. And when you mix them in the concrete at a low dose, something like four to five pounds per cubic yard, what they do is they're not so much that they make the concrete hard to handle and hard to consolidate and actually finish, but you would not believe that they reduce your crack sizes by about 50%. You know, like, "Wow! How did you know that?"
Tyler Ley: Well, we done a lot of testing with it. Tons and tons of testing with it, and we've done it in practice. We've done it -- We've helped with Amazons. We've helped with distribution centers. We've helped with overlays on actual highways. So putting this stuff in practice and seeing how it performs, and people are just shocked. They're like, "How can that little amount of fiber do that much good because I don't even notice it's there." And that's a baby aspirin, baby. That's what we need. We need more of that stuff.
Isaac Oakeson: I like it. I was thinking, also -- I remember taking courses and studying about concrete and learning about Ultra High Strength Concrete.
Tyler Ley: Yeah.
Isaac Oakeson: Where have you seen that mainly used, and what are some admixtures that you're seeing in those? Some baby aspirin.
Tyler Ley: Yeah. I don't think ultra-high strength concrete has any baby aspirin in it. I think ultra-high strength is the regulated drugs, is what they use in that stuff. I'm not knocking ultra-high strength concrete, okay? I'm not. I'm just telling you, it is not your dad's or granddad's concrete. It is a unique beast. It is highly engineered where they engineer it from a powdered scale, like a powder. They pick certain powder distributions to all pack together. They pick different aggregate distributions to all work together. They use steel fibers in it, because if it cracks, it's like super, super brittle. And it uses a lot of cement in it. It is not a sustainable concrete per pound compared to a normal concrete. But if you can get a lot longer life, if you get three to four times the life of normal concrete out of it, then that's valuable.
Tyler Ley: So sometimes what people will do in repair applications, where they need a very high strength material that they need to last a very long period of time, that is ultra-high performance concrete. If they need a concrete that is very, very slender for some reason, like very, very thin -- I've seen it used for architectural finishes. I've seen it used in bridge applications. Where they just need something really lightweight because the structure is lightweight, because they're using less material in it. That's when ultra-high performance concrete can be extremely valuable.
Tyler Ley: There's a lot of people that are actually dipping their toe in it in the United States right now. Different states that are trying it, seeing if it makes sense. And what by and large they find is that, for certain applications, it works great. For other applications. I'm not sure it's quite there yet. And most technologies are that way. They're not a silver bullet that does everything. They do certain things really, really well.
Tyler Ley: One challenge with it is not everyone can make it. For example, normal concrete. It takes 10 minutes to add all the rock and sand and mix it up. Ultra-high performance concrete, you have to have a very special mixer, not just any mixer. And sometimes it can take 20 to 30 minutes of mixing, and it's a lot of mixing. And it's actually, I think it's scary. It's scary at first. And it's only scary because it's so different than normal concrete. You mix it up and you're like, "Oh my God, what is this? It's never gonna work." And then all of a sudden, like, it starts going, it starts going, it starts going.
Tyler Ley: You have to add enough energy to actually get the water to not be attached to the powder. And then it starts congealing and turning into something that looks more like Play-Doh. And then it turns into something that's like flowable. But if you keep mixing it, it like sets up again. So you have to get in this like special energy range for it. It's like really, really unique stuff.
Isaac Oakeson: And it sounds very difficult to deal with.
Tyler Ley: Well, and I don't -- Please, if you're an all type performance concrete lever, I'm not saying that this stuff is bad. I'm not saying that at all. I'm just saying it's different. And you know, if you're honest with yourself, I think you'd say that too.
Isaac Oakeson: Well, that's good to know. I just wanted to touch on that to make sure -- You know, there's some buzzwords out there and that's one you hear all the time, using that type of concrete.
Isaac Oakeson: Well, it sounds like you have an awesome passion for teaching students and what you do. Is there something in particular that you love as you teach students about concrete? What is there something that pops in your mind as you're teaching this subject?
Tyler Ley: Well, I'm gonna give you two answers. One of them, I love to teach about development length. And I don't know if you remember about development length. It's like how far the bar has to be in before it doesn't pull out. And it's, like, crazy important, it's not usually taught very well. And I teach it, what I say, is just like being a worm. You're like, "What?" Like the worm.
Tyler Ley: He sticks his head up in the morning to look out to see. Like, you don't wanna get ripped out of the ground by the bird. Right? So you want that worm to be in the ground far enough, or possibly hooked, you know what I mean? Like a hooked worm. You know, like, hooked in the ground so the bird can't pull you out. Or grab it onto your worm friends. That's like a lap, right? The worms all lap together. I don't think worms actually ever do that, but they could. You know what I mean? They could all work together.
Tyler Ley: And so I love to teach it that way, but it's something that's not well understood by a lot of people. I mean, I know I didn't understand development length the first time I had it. And it was just hard. I don't know why it's so hard. It's a simple concept. And so, I love teaching it.
Tyler Ley: But I also love teaching people about the practical side of concrete. This idea that, why do we do things a certain way? There's sometimes that there's not a good reason, but sometimes there's very good reasons. And once you put, you know, a concrete mix design together, why we do certain things certain ways, why we specify concrete certain ways. Just the practical side of life and how it's applied to concrete.
Tyler Ley: For example, if I'm gonna size a column, I usually size them in increments of two inches. 10 inch by 10 inch, 12 inch by 12 inch. Why? Because that's what forms come in. People love their, "Oh, I want 11.57 inch diameter by 11.57 inch, you know, column. I'm like, "Yeah, no. Don't do that." You know what I mean? And they're just, you know, simple things like that. And that's probably not the best example. But that's one example where you need to think about, things are done a certain way for a reason. And then you need to test that. Is that a good reason? Most of the time it is. Sometimes it's not. Sometimes it's just the way we've always been. And that, baby, another opportunity for improvement. Another opportunity to make things better, you know, or expand, you know? And realize that it doesn't always have to be that way.
Isaac Oakeson: Well, I'm in the utility industry in transmission design, and there's always an opportunity for improvement on the foundation designs. You'll have foundations, you know, that can get monstrous. You know, 6, 7, 8, up to 15 feet I've seen. And then embedments that go down to China, you know? 70 feet deep. And so, I can see like, you know, there's definitely improvements in all aspects of construction.
Isaac Oakeson: I have a question for you. In your house, do you have anything made out of concrete that you're like, "I made that because I love concrete?" Or is the whole house made out of concrete? What's going on?
Tyler Ley: Yeah. I've got that question actually a lot more than you'd think I would. Like, do you have a concrete house? And the answer is, I don't have a concrete house. My wife says that we have so much concrete in our life, the last thing we need is a house of concrete, all right? But maybe someday -- I'll tell you just to add on to that. We are working really hard on 3D printing right now. And we've got a 3D printer that we built ourselves that uses concrete; uses ready-mix concrete. And it prints around rebars. Not the little mortary toothpaste thing. This is a much, much, much bigger thing. And actually, it's super easy. It fits on a skidsteer and you can drive it around. I'll be making an YouTube video about it pretty soon.
Tyler Ley: But we wanna make affordable concrete homes, and I'd love to live in one. I think it'd be awesome. And once this stuff is printed, you can't even tell that it was 3D-printed. It looks just like a normal formed concrete wall. It's pretty awesome. Yeah.
Tyler Ley: But other stuff. You know, I've built a lot of stuff out of concrete, and I got a lot of stuff in my lab that I'm super proud of that I've built. But nothing in my home. I've got some really cool cylinders or concrete samples from different really famous structures, like the I-35 W Bridge in Minneapolis. Remember the one that collapsed and they built a new one? A good friend of mine, Kevin McDonald, he did the concrete design on that, and he gave me a cylinder of that stuff. And I've got some other bits and pieces and other things that I'm super proud of. But I don't have a concrete house. Maybe some day.
Isaac Oakeson: All right. Well, just checking. Just checking. So, what are some industries that engineers can get into as they learn more about concrete? Is there some pathways that maybe they could be more involved with concrete and that particular subject, if they have a passion like you do?
Tyler Ley: I'll tell you what, I don't even think they need to have a passion like me, all right? I think concrete is so important that, as a civil engineer, you are going to find a way to stand out and be important if you understand it and you have, like, you know, even semi-decent understanding of it. And it's so everywhere that you're gonna be able to contribute and make things better. That's what I tell my students in my concrete class every single year.
Tyler Ley: But let's dig in a little bit more. Like, let's say you're really interested in concrete, like a concrete freak like me, right? Or just kind of freaky like me. There are jobs in the supplying of concrete. There are jobs in all the additives and all the ancillary stuff for concrete. There's jobs in tools for concrete. There's jobs in designing concrete, in constructing concrete, in specifying concrete. Man, like, I mean, you can make almost anything out of concrete. You just gotta figure out how to tweak it, to make it be best for your application. And that's why it's so great.
Tyler Ley: And people need to realize it's not just 4,000 PSI. It's not just some strength out there. I know it's very common. I know most people, that's what they get. That's what they got in school. It's "Oh, what do you mean? It's 5,000 PSI. That's just what it is." It's so much more than that. And if you can learn to harness it, if you can learn to apply it, oh my god, think how much good you can do. For your job and other people around you. I can't think of a job in civil engineering -- Well, almost any job in civil engineering where concrete wouldn't be valuable, you know what I mean?
Isaac Oakeson: I totally agree with you. And to go along with that, I guess, as engineers that are out there in the industry, how can they help in this cause that you've talked about? To make it more durable, to make it faster, cheaper? Is there ways for engineers to be more involved than maybe they currently are? Is it coming to seminars, coming to conferences? Is it participating in those things? Is there some ideas that you have that others could be way more involved with?
Tyler Ley: Yeah. No, I think that's an awesome question. I think continuous learning is always important, and continuous questioning and curiosity is always important. And so if you've been doing something a long, long time, you should start to question it. For example, the three most common ways to measure concrete in the field to accept it are slump, strength, and air entrainment. That's what most people, when they think of concrete and, you know, actually accepting it, those three things are it.
Tyler Ley: You know, air entrainment, the air content is the most recent. 1949.
Isaac Oakeson: Yeah.
Tyler Ley: 1949
Isaac Oakeson: 1949?
Tyler Ley: That's when Walker developed Air Meter, okay? I mean that --
Isaac Oakeson: We haven't improved that yet?
Tyler Ley: Well, there's improvements like the Super Air Meter. And that's a technique that I developed that's getting out there. There's other improvements to those other tests. Like, slump is from like 1911. 1911! Right? So there's ways --
Isaac Oakeson: It's proven. It's proven.
Tyler Ley: Well, it is. It is. But sometimes there's -- And I think slump is great, for certain applications. But for for others, it's not. Like for slip form paving, it's not. And for 3D printing, I don't think it is. And so, you have to realize that some of these tools serve us, but there's a reason to sometimes update them. There's a reason to sometimes to look for something new.
Tyler Ley: And I would just say, if you're an engineer that's using something that you inherited, you should know why you're using it. You should know why it's the number. It's the whatever. Because if you're not, you're just a robot. You're just copying from whatever came before you. And if you know why, and you keep testing that, you keep looking into that, because we're learning all the time, people like me out there are trying to make things better all the time, and you can learn, maybe, "Is my old number still good, or maybe does it need to change?"
Tyler Ley: So you can ask people, you can go to conferences. There's all these free webinars. You can go to my YouTube channel. And I've got 300 videos on there all about concrete. And so you can start to learn and see if maybe you need to update a little bit.
Tyler Ley: I think that's the most important thing that you can do. There's all kinds of resources out there. There's all kinds of people out there. But if you're not willing to ask "why," if you're not willing to get curious and look at your own business, you know, you're always gonna be the same. And nobody wants to be that, right? Nobody wants to be that person or that whatever that is stuck. We all want to grow. We all want to give. We all want to change and do something different. You just gotta figure out where you're comfortable at and where you want to contribute. Because there's plenty of places out there. We'd be happy to have you.
Isaac Oakeson: I love it. Good advice. Well, this has been fun to talk about, Tyler. Thanks for doing this with me. Why don't you tell us a little bit more about your YouTube channel and the best way people can connect with you if they want to learn more?
Tyler Ley: Yeah. You can find my YouTube channel at youtube.com/tylerley, for Ley. Or you can just type in Tyler Ley YouTube. You'll find me. It's on there. I've got more than 80,000 subscribers. I've got more than seven million, or six and a half to 7 million views. And I get about 10,000 views every day on a good day. I get emails from all kinds of people from around the world contacted. If you wanna follow me on Instagram @concrete.tyler, you can follow me there. And I'm on Facebook, but I don't check that as much. But Instagram I'm somewhat active on, and you can find me if you want to. And, yeah.
Isaac Oakeson: And you teach.
Tyler Ley: I do.
Isaac Oakeson: Go take a class.
Tyler Ley: You can come take a class if you want. I get sometimes all kinds of different people that we've crossed paths, and I'm happy to try to help you on your concrete journey, if I can. And I'm on mine, baby. I'm running hard.
Isaac Oakeson: Love it. Well, thanks for doing this with me, Tyler. I really do appreciate, it's been fun to do. And we'll catch you on another episode sometime maybe. Thanks for doing this.
Tyler Ley: That sounds awesome, man.
Isaac Oakeson: See you. Bye.
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