A recent formulation is all set to change the performance issues related to the ancient building concrete. The regular concrete is formed from gravel, sand, and water and almost every single building on this planet has it as its basic ingredient. Concrete became a regular part of buildings almost a millennia ago and has been a part of almost 90 percent of word infrastructure since then. Despite being such a useful thing it still fall behind due to some of its flaws. The most prominent flaw associated with this material is its brittle nature and chances of cracking down under pressure. This has been a major problem for more than two thousand years ,however, things seems to be changing now.
Figure 1: Flexible concrete will not crack under Pressure
According to the Nanyang Technical University’s professor, Chi Jian "We developed a new type of concrete that can greatly reduce the thickness and weight of precast pavement slabs, hence enabling speedy plug-and-play installation, where new concrete slabs prepared off-site can easily replace worn out ones."
Also known as the ConFlexPave, this one is a reformulated concrete that sticks to the previous formula of concrete but makes it better by adding an additional product to it - the polymer microfibers. The introduction of these new polymers will help in distributing the crack in concrete over a larger surface area providing required resiliency to the product. Assistant Professor Yanf En-Hua, explains that "The microfibers, which are thinner than the width of a human hair, distribute the load across the whole slab. Thus resulting in a concrete that is tough as metal and at least twice as strong as conventional concrete under bending."
It is true that slabs of ConFlexPav have proven their worth under lab experiments, the NTU research team is still working to scale up its volume so that its usage in physical world get a more prominent response.