In Brief
Scientists in Singapore have created a new type of concrete that bends, but is more durable and sustainable than the typical concrete.

Scientists at Nanyang Technological University (NTU)-JTC Industrial Infrastructure Innovation Center have created a new type of concrete that is flexible and more durable than regular concrete. They call it ConFlexPave.

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NTU Assistant Professor Yang En-Hua with ConFlexPave. Source: NTU

According to its inventors, ConFlexPave can greatly reduce the weight and thickness of precast pavement slabs, making them lighter and easier to transport and install — thus, halving the time needed for road work and new pavement. Also, because it is more sustainable, it requires less maintenance compared to conventional concrete.

Aside from cement, water, and sand (the components that make concrete hard and strong), ConFlexPave also consists of special synthetic fibers, which give this new type of concrete the ability to flex and bend under tension, and at the same time enhance skid resistance.

Because of the special materials used to create ConFlexPave, it costs slightly more than regular concrete. But Dr. Yang En-Hua (leader of the research project) claims it is actually economical. He says, “…if you look at it over the entire lifecycle and take into account the manpower reduction since it is easier to install, you can actually save more.”

Dr. Yang sees the potential of ConFlexPave in mitigating earthquake damage to any infrastructure.