bendable concrete with University of Michigan logo.

Bendable Concrete

side-by-side images of bendable concrete example and looking up toward the top of the Kitahama building
Figure 1. Cement industry is one of the biggest CO2 emitters globally. We found a way to utilize this CO2 from the production of cement to be used in the curing of it to make bendable concrete. Kitahama building, the tallest residential tower in Japan, is built with this technology to have superior earthquake resistance.

The cement industry contributes 5–8% of global CO2 emissions. This CO2 can also be repurposed and utilized in curing the cement to manufacture concrete and other construction materials with desirable mechanical properties.

CO2 sequestration in cement offers a pathway for reducing net CO2 footprint and approaching a closed loop of carbon flow for a sustainable construction industry.

Cement-based materials have a substantial potential through transforming CO2 into cured products for construction industry whereby the CO2 can be safely stored. The effect of CO2 on cement-based materials is found three-fold:

  • accelerating the early age strength gain of cement,
  • enhancing durability (e.g., resistance to chemical and freeze–thaw damage),
  • stabilizing and recycling contaminated waste or soil in cement.

More recently, the technology of cement carbonation has been further developed in the concrete industry. The substantial volume of the concrete industry makes this emerging technology a promising strategy for CO2 utilization and sequestration.

Our CO2 -cured bendable concrete technology has been successfully launched in several different sites around the globe.

Deployment of bendable concrete demonstrated reduced bridge deck maintenance in Ypsilanti, MI, as well as earthquake resistance in Kitahama building (tallest residential tower in Japan) and Mihara Bridge.

Faculty: Victor Li

Read our research projects to learn more about our innovative solutions.