May 24, 2022

Durable self-cleaning concrete invented

Durable self-cleaning concrete invented

Researchers have created a new type of durable concrete withgood heat and sound insulation characteristics, which, among other things, repels various liquids. Flowing down the surface, they clean the material, taking dust particles with them.

There are enough examples in natureself-cleaning surfaces such as lotus leaves or gecko paws. Scientists have long tried to give concrete similar properties using hydrophobic materials. However, surface coatings scratched and worn over time, and additives decreased strength.

A team from the American Chemical Society was looking for a simple way to make porous concrete with good mechanical and self-cleaning properties.

To do this, the researchers added oil,an emulsifier and a hydrophobic silicon polymer called polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS). Thanks to the emulsifier, the oil has formed many tiny drops containing polymer.

Then they dried and heated the concrete to oilevaporated, and the pores were covered with PDMS. The resulting material was light, but at the same time durable. He repelled dust particles and various liquids, including milk, beer, soy sauce, coffee and colored water, even when completely immersed in them.

Concrete retained superhydrophobic properties evenafter mechanical grinding, heat treatment and chemical exposure. In addition, it absorbs sound well and conducts heat poorly, which is important for building materials.

Earlier, we also reported thatGazprom Neft Research Center has introduced a new bitumen material that binds the components of the asphalt mix, forming a protective layer on the surface of the road.

text: Ilya Bauer, photo and video: American Chemical Society