New Type of Concrete is Water Resistant, Bendable, and can Last Undamaged for over a Century

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 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!

  • jousterusa

    I have finally published the article on the new building material I was talking about here earlier. It’s entitled “Miracle in Stone,” and can be accessed free at,968/1.html

    • Iggy Dalrymple

      “In the meantime, though, something called OSB, for Oriented Strand Board, better known as drywall, is crumbling in homes and buildings across the country.”

      Joe, “OSB” is a panel made from compressed wood fibers or shavings. “Dry wall” is another word for gypsum board, used for interior walls and constructed from a mined mineral, gypsum (calcium sulfate dihydrate). Dry wall is used because of its low cost, smooth finish, and fire resistance. It’s weak feature is that it deteriorates when wet.

  • jousterusa

    There already is such a material – waterproof, fireproof, bugproof and hurricane resistant. It sells now at pretty much the same price as drywall and is easier to install. I am writing an article about it, so you will have to wait until tomorrow evening to find out what it is. But here’s a clue: it was used in the construction of the Great Wall of China. While the material described above sounds great, it’s likely to be 10 years from market, much less universal code and UL and UCC approvals. This is a material you can buy today, although there are only three significant manufacturers in the U.S. (one of them is in Tampa, BTW).

  • AstralProjectee

    Can’t wait to get it put down on my road.

  • Andreas Moraitis

    Plasticized and fiber-reinforced mortars and screeds are known for decades. I can buy them in high quality in my DIY store. The problem is that they are much more expensive than simple materials. That’s why nobody uses them to build complete houses or roads. Even if they would become cheaper in time, the ordinary materials would always beat them in price. Only if money were not a factor, the best materials would become a standard solution.

  • Christopher Calder

    Interesting product. If you used this flexible concrete with Insulated Concrete Forms (ICFs) to build a house, it could be very earthquake resistant. Certainly for bridges it would be the way to go.