Reinforced concrete structures, with all their external indestructible strength, require regular maintenance. The point is mainly in the steel reinforcement rods, which rust gets to over time. And then - rusty steel is repelled from the concrete, which leads to its cracking and gradual destruction of the entire structure.
According to Dr Mahbube Subhani, a civil engineering lecturer at Deakin University in Australia, reinforced concrete structures typically need maintenance every five years, and major repairs every 20 years. This prompted him to develop, together with Dr. Casem Gabrei, a new stainless material that includes polymer, reinforced carbon and fiberglass. The result is a material that is stronger than steel reinforcement, but is five times lighter and requires 75% less energy to produce.
It is currently planned to use the refurbished polymer concrete in the construction of a pedestrian bridge in Geelong, Australia. Scientists believe it will be maintenance-free for at least 100 years.
Another feature of the new material: the cement in it replaces fly ash left after coal combustion. Previously, scientists at Deakin University developed environmentally friendly concrete, where glass waste was used as a filler.