The ECC Bendable Concrete

Author: Lorella Angelini, Angelini Consulting Services, LLClorella

Recently, CNN aired a report about America’s crumbling infrastructures. One of the topics was the so-called “bendable concrete” that was presented as an innovative solution that could extend the service life of US bridges.

Bendable concrete, officially called Engineering Cement Composite (ECC), has been developed over the last 10 years by Prof Victor Li, Civil and Environmental Engineer at Michigan University, Ann Arbor, MI. ECC is designed to overcome the inherent brittleness of concrete by having high tensile ductility and the ability to self-heal tight cracks. Its ductility allows constructing safer concrete structures that bend under extreme loads but do not break.  Crack control and self-healing provide higher concrete durability in a variety of environmental conditions.

ECC has been applied in Japan for a bridge deck that it is expected to last 100 years despite severe cold weather environmental conditions and limited thickness (2 inch) of the slab. The properties of ECC concrete allow structural elements to be designed with reduced dimensions and thus can provide significant cost savings to the owners by offsetting current ECC cost by volume, which is approximately 3 times higher than ordinary concrete.

ECC was also used for bridge deck construction in Michigan on Interstate 94. The application has been closely monitored by the University of Michigan and the Michigan Department of Transportation.

In 2015 ECC won the prestigious Construction Industry Council (CIC) Innovation Award with ECC.  CIC, which is based in Hong Kong, promotes sustainable innovation for the construction industry.



Read CNN news article: ”America’s infrastructure: Beams disintegrating under bridges”


Watch ECC bendable concrete’s videos:


Participate in LinkedIn discussion about “bendable concrete”


Participate in Twitter discussion about America’s crumbling infrastructures


Read ECC Wiki page


Learn about CIC and its Innovation Award


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