Li may have an answer to this issue: self-healing concrete. Unlike regular concrete, self-healing concrete can bend and repair itself.
“Nacre, the iridescent material on the inside of abalone shell, uses a a ‘brick-layering’ technique that allows the layers to move and slide over one another, giving this very brittle material the ability to behave like a ductile, or flexible one,” the story on Michigan Radio states.
“Li says that this same sort of behavior is accomplished in the self-healing concrete using tons of coated microfibers that allow the concrete to shift and deform slightly when overloaded,” the story continues.
“It will cause these very small, minute motions inside that makes it … look like a metallic material,” Li explains. “It’s very resilient.”
To read the full article, or listen to the piece, please visit MichiganRadio.org.