A new type of fiber-reinforced bendable concrete has been developed at the University of Michigan.
The new concrete is 500 times more resistant to cracking and 40 percent lighter in weight. The materials in the concrete itself are designed for maximum flexibility.
The Engineered Cement Composites technology has been used already on projects in Japan, Korea, Switzerland and Australia, but has had slow adoption in the US, said engineering professor Victor Li.
Traditional concrete presents many problems: lack of durability and sustainability, failure under severe loading, and the resulting expenses of repair. ECC should address most of those problems. The ductile, or bendable, concrete is made mainly of the same ingredients in regular concrete minus the coarse aggregate. It looks exactly like regular concrete, but under excessive strain, the ECC concrete gives because the network of fibers veining the cement is allowed to slide within the cement, thus avoiding the inflexibility that causes brittleness and breakage.