Japanese Manufacturer Develops Machine to Double Concrete’s Lifespan

As aging infrastructure becomes a global problem, IHI Corp. is working to extend the life of reinforced concrete to more than 200 years.

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Zoshua Colah/Unsplash

A new technology developed by IHI Corp. could extend the life of reinforced concrete to more than 200 years. That's more than two times longer that its current lifespan.

According to an article in the San Francisco Chronicle, the heavy industry company plans to commercialize the technology by the end of this year or later. The company says the technology is expected to reduce maintenance and renewal costs for infrastructure such as roads, bridges and tunnels.

When traditional concrete is poured, air comes into contact with the concrete forming bubbles that result in holes on the surface of the concrete. Over time, those holes are penetrated with rainwater, salt and more causing the reinforced steel rods to corrode and the concrete to crack.

A machine that IHI invented uses vibrations to remove the air bubbles while applying pressure equivalent to more than twice the force of gravity. As a result, IHI says it can reduce the amount of surface holes by about 70%.