Concrete is one of the oldest materials on the planet, but it has taken thousands of years for it to mature. Scientists have only begun to decode how concrete behaves at the atomic level. Those molecular structures are yielding new clues that could change the way industry builds.
Groundbreaking research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology promises to yield super cements that would reduce their environmental impact and push performance to new extremes. Cement groups funding the project also are using MIT's research to bolster their multibillion-dollar marketplace, which isn't setting well with makers of competing materials, such as asphalt.