I try to avoid doing posts that just go along the lines of “hey, look – cool invention!”, but I thought flexible self-healing concrete was interesting enough to warrant a bending (arf!) of the rules…
A handful of drizzly days would be enough to mend a damaged bridge made of the new substance. Self-healing is possible because the material is designed to bend and crack in narrow hairlines rather than break and split in wide gaps, as traditional concrete behaves.
“It’s like if you get a small cut on your hand, your body can heal itself. But if you have a large wound, your body needs help. You might need stitches. We’ve created a material with such tiny crack widths that it takes care of the healing by itself. Even if you overload it, the cracks stay small,” said Victor Li, the E. Benjamin Wylie Collegiate Professor of Civil Engineering and a professor of Materials Science and Engineering.
Ten kudos points and a Futurismic gold star to the first commenter with either a potential disaster scenario involving flexible concrete, or a design-fiction repurposing of it. Go! [via Technovelgy]