New Flexible Concrete Doesn’t Crack Under Pressure

  • By NTU College of Engineering
  • Posted 2 years ago
  • Reading Time : 7

New Flexible Concrete Doesn’t Crack Under Pressure

Led by Professor Yang En-Hua of CEE, a team of researchers from the NTU-JTC Industrial Infrastructure Innovation Centre (I2C) has invented a new type of concrete that is bendable yet stronger and longer lasting than regular concrete which is heavy. brittle and breaks
under tension. Named ConFlexPave. this innovation allows the creation of slim precast

Typical concrete comprises cement. water, gravel and sand. While this mixture makes concrete hard and strong, it does not promote flexibility. Thus concrete is brittle and prone to cracks if too much weight is applied.

Specifically engineered, ConFlexPave comprises certain types of hard materials mixed with polymer microfibres. The hard materials give a non-slip surface texture while the microfibres which are thinner than the width of a human hair, distribute the load across the whole slab. resulting in a concrete that is tough as metal and at least twice as strong as conventional
concrete under bending.

The key breakthrough was understanding how the components of the materials
interact with one another mechanically on a microscopic level. "With detailed understanding, we can deliberately select the ingredients and engineer the tailoring of components so that the final material can fulfill specific requirements needed for road and pavement applications,' explained Prof. Yang.

ConFlexPave has been successfully tested as tablet-sized slabs at NTU laboratories. It will be scaled up for further testing over the next three years in partnership with JTC - at suitable locations within JTC's industrial estates and in NTU where there will be human and vehicular traffic.

"The invention of this game-changing technology will not only enable the construction industry to reduce labour intensive on-site work, enhance workers' safety and reduce construction time, it also benefits road users by cutting down the inconvenience I caused by road resurfacing and construction works.

Mr. Koh Chwee Director, Technical Services Division of JTC and Co-Director of the MU-JTC PC 

Bend it. Rex it. Stress it. This new concrete does not crack under pressure.

Reproduced with permission from College of Engineering ( and School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering (, Nanyang Technological University.