Developed by University of Michigan scientists, this new concrete looks like regular concrete, but is 500 times more resistant to cracking and 40 percent lighter in weight. Tiny fibres that comprise about 2 percent of the mixture's volume partly account for its performance. Also, the materials in the concrete itself are designed for maximum flexibility. Because of its long life, the Engineered Cement Composites (ECC) are expected to cost less in the long run, as well. traditional concrete has many problems: lack of durability and sustainability; failure under severe loading; and the resulting expenses of repair. ECC addresses 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 specially coated network of fibers veining the cement is allowed to slide within the cement, thus avoiding the inflexibility that causes brittleness and breakage.The ECC material has promise for solving some of the deck durability issues we face, such as premature cracking.
Source: physorg.comAdded: 6 June 2006