Bend it Like Concrete

Advances in material development have brought to the market a new type of concrete that can bend under pressure and heal cracks with the addition of water.
May 7, 2009, 9am PDT | Nate Berg
Share Tweet LinkedIn Email Comments

"Traditional concrete is brittle and is easily fractured during an earthquake or by overuse.

By contrast, the new concrete composite can bend into a U-shape without breaking. When strained, the material forms hairline cracks, which auto-seal after a few days of light rain.

Dry material exposed by the cracks reacts with rainwater and carbon dioxide in the air to form "scars" of calcium carbonate, a strong compound found naturally in seashells, said study co-author Victor Li of the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.

The flexible material is just as strong after it heals, the study authors report."

Full Story:
Published on Wednesday, May 6, 2009 in National Geographic
Share Tweet LinkedIn Email