Here’s another interesting development in materials science. A team from the University of Wisconsin-Milwakee have developed a type of concrete that repels water, and is impregnated with polyvinyl fibers, making it bendable — which the researchers project is able to withstand normal wear and tear up to four times as long as normal concrete that on roads has a lifespan of around 30 years.
An article on txchnologist.com explains further:
They call it Superhydrophobic Engineered Cementitious Composite (SECC). Preventing normally porous concrete from absorbing water means that liquid can’t get inside, freeze and cause it to crack. The concrete’s unusual characteristics, including being significantly more ductile than traditional concrete, means that cracks that do form do not propagate and cause failure.
If this type of concrete holds up as predicted it could lead to significant savings for governments which spend billions of dollars each year on replacing and maintaining roads, bridges, and other essential concrete-based structures. It would seem to be a very desirable material for constructing buildings with, especially in earthquake-prone parts of the world where resilient structures are essential. It’s probably a material that could be 3D printed too!