Follow us on Twitter Follow us on LinkedIn Like us on Facebook Follow us on Instagram Visit the TPC Store
Search the site




Coatings Industry News

Main News Page

Professor Touts Future of 'Bendable' Concrete

Friday, June 1, 2018

Comment | More

A University of Michigan professor who specializes in engineered cementitious composite says the so-called “bendable concrete” could be the key to infrastructure that lasts, including bridges that better resist damage due to seismic activity.

Bendable concrete
Victor Li, CC BY-ND

University of Michigan professor Victor Li notes that engineered cementitious composite could solve many of the issues with traditional concrete that cause it to fail.

Victor Li, director of the Advanced Civil Engineering Materials Research Lab at the university, recently published an article on academic website The Conversation explaining his work with ECC and its potential uses in building more resilient infrastructure and buildings. (Li also owns a consulting firm that works with ECC technology.)

Li explains that so many of the problems that lead to catastrophic failures in concrete structures relate to inflexibility and lack of tensile strength. Brittle concrete will begin to crack, leading to bigger problems if the problem isn’t addressed quickly.

Inspired by Nature

Li’s ECC is a concrete mixture that draws on the elastic polymer in nacre, the material inside a mollusk’s shell. The ECC mixture includes tiny fibers that imitate the flexibility of nacre, Li explains. The result is a material with 300 to 400 times more tensile strain capacity than traditional concrete.

ECC has been in use experimentally for years, including in applications on Michigan bridges, where ECC link slabs are used in lieu of expansion joints. ECC has been used in building tall buildings in Japan as well.

ECC is also self-healing, Li says, with exposure to air and water shoring up small cracks when they do form in the material.

Li notes that challenges to the widespread adoption of ECC as a building material include “a good supply chain and intelligent use of the material to optimize cost economics,” as well as wider acceptance among structural engineers, who are accustomed to traditional concrete and its uses and limitations.


Tagged categories: Colleges and Universities; concrete; Research and development

Comment Join the Conversation:

Sign in to our community to add your comments.

New resins from BASF will have metals loving water!
Excellent corrosion resistance, low VOC, high gloss, thin films 800-231-7868

Jotun Paints Inc.
Jotun Jotachar 1709
Mesh-free passive fire protection epoxy designed to protect against hydrocarbon pool fire scenarios for up to four hours as defined in the ANSI/UL1709 standard.

Novatek Corporation
Dustless Coatings Removal
Novatek Corporation, Dustless Coatings Removal Strip, clean and profile all dust free! Comply with new lead standards. Contact today: (866) 563-7800

SABRE Autonomous Solutions
Introducing the ALPHA1 Blasting Robot
Once installed and commissioned – simply

Carboline Company
Carboline launches new website!
The completely revamped website, offers quick and easy access to essential product information and is now mobile-friendly.

HoldTight Solutions Inc.
Full Surface Protection for Up to One Year
HT 365 is a preservation, single component, anti-corrosive coating, a water displacing agent, a lubricant, and a penetrating fluid. It creates an imperceptible thin-film coating that offers excellent salt contaminant and humidity protection. Contact your HoldTight® representative or visit for more information.

Tarps manufacturing, Inc.
QUALITY MADE IN AMERICA —Available near you!
CLICK to get a behind-the-scenes look at how Tarps Manufacturing makes the highest-quality tarps right here in the USA — available nationwide.

Mitsubishi Gas Chemical America
Performance Amine 1,3-BAC
A highly reactive cycloaliphatic diamine offering superior performance. Reasonable cost and curing efficacy makes it suitable for all types of epoxy resin applications.

Sidewinder/Persyst Enterprises, Inc.
Sidewinder Model M2
Load our Refrigeration Machine Distiller Reclaimer with dirty solvent, press the button, you're done. You will have clean gun wash and cleanup solvents, ready for reuse.

Sika® Industrial Floor Coatings
Click to learn about floor and wall systems relied upon for performance, durability, easy maintenance and aesthetics across the every industry and environment.


Technology Publishing Co., 1501 Reedsdale Street, Suite 2008, Pittsburgh, PA 15233

TEL 1-412-431-8300  • FAX  1-412-431-5428  •  EMAIL

The Technology Publishing Network

Durability + Design PaintSquare the Journal of Protective Coatings & Linings Paint BidTracker

EXPLORE:      JPCL   |   PaintSquare News   |   Interact   |   Buying Guides   |   Webinars   |   Resources   |   Classifieds
REGISTER AND SUBSCRIBE:      Free PaintSquare Registration   |   Subscribe to JPCL   |   Subscribe to PaintSquare News
MORE:      About   |   Privacy Policy   |   Terms & Conditions   |   Support   |   Site Map   |   Search   |   Contact Us