Flexible concrete

flexible self-healing concreteI 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]

3 thoughts on “Flexible concrete”

  1. News Flash: January 10, 2023 (AP-San Diego) Several buildings and bridges in the Southern California area collapsed during last year. These structures, made of self-healing concrete, effectively turned to sand and collapsed after a series of small earthquakes. State engineers report that the continued lack of rain, with no rain for the fourth straight year, caused the self-healing concrete to be unable to heal itself, leading to a series of repeated crackings under the stress of earthquakes, and the eventual collapses.

  2. Wow, before I read the San Diego comment above I was really excited about this flexible invention. Now, maybe not so much. Then again, had you considered what would have happened if normal concrete had been used? Quite possibly could have collapsed much sooner, and possibly with people inside them. Just a thought…

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