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The Fluid Systems Engineering and Management Blog

by Swagelok Northern California

Bendable Concrete Inspired by Abalone Shells

by Jeff Hopkins, on 8/3/18 8:45 AM

Bendable concrete makes infrastructure safer, extends its service life and reduces maintenance costs and resource use

The Advanced Civil Engineering - Materials Research Lab at the University of Michigan has shown that it is possible to make concrete more bendable without fracturing. The UMich team borrowed ideas from mother-of-pearl (nacre), found on the inside of abalone seashells.

At the nanoscale, mother-of-pearl looks like a brick wall made from thin layers of aragonite (natural calcium carbonate) platelets with a “mortar” between them of a very elastic natural polymer. The UMich team mimicked this structure to invent a ductile concrete, engineered cementitious composite (ECC) which has 300 to 500 times more tensile strain capacity than normal concrete.

Read more from the article in The Michigan Engineer News Center →

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