CHOICE membership

Swinburne University Researchers Develop Bendable Concrete

An article regarding researchers at Swinburne University developing bendable concrete which is also more enviromentally friendly.

The dodgy building industry certainly needs it.

Concrete has always had the limitation that it is strong in compression but weak in tension. This has been dealt with by adding material to it to make up the shortfall - frequently steel. So the idea of adding other materials into the matrix is far from new. I would be interested to know how much strength is lost by using polymer for the purpose. Put another way, would it be able to replace standard concrete for a wide range of purposes or is it like hebel that is so weak it can hardly be used as a load bearing structure?

The concept of bendable concrete is also far from new, I saw a concrete plank springboard about 20mm thick that would allow a man to bounce off it 50 years ago.


In a previous job, concrete slabs within substations used fibreglass rods rather than steel. Steel in such situations may conduct electricity if an earth fault occurs (impacting on touch potential) and be subject to accelerated corrosion/concrete cancer.

Also, concrete has some degree of flexing. If anyone has been on a long soan concrete bridge when a heavy vehicle passes, one will often feel the bridge flex slightly. Note…the movement often experienced in such case is both concrete flexing and depression of rubber bushes/pads under the beams.