University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM) civil engineers have developed a new water-repellant concrete mix, which they claim will hold up with little or no maintenance for well over a century.

Called Superhydrophobic Engineered Cementitious Composite (SECC), the new material consists of superhydrophobic additives based on siloxane, a compound that forms the backbone of silicones, mixed with superfine powders.

The result is a microscopic spiky surface that prevents the normally porous concrete from absorbing water and propagating cracks.

Incredibly strong, unwoven polyvinyl alcohol fibres have also been added to let the concrete to bend without breaking.

The polyvinyl alcohol fibres improve both the durability and ductility of the concrete significantly which, according to the UWM engineers, allows the material to withstand four times the compression of traditional concrete.  

Video: UW-Milwaukee Media Team

Courtesy Txchnologist via Gizmodo