Concrete-Polymer Materials: How Far Have We Come, and Where Do We Need to Go?
Concrete-polymer materials (CPMs) include polymer-impregnated concrete (PIC), polymer concrete (PC), and polymer-modified concrete (PMC) along with sulfur concrete and crack-filling resins and monomers. These materials began to be developed in the 1950s, but it was not until the early 1970s that they began to be well known in the industry. PIC is no longer being used, but PC and PMC are widely used as are the crack-filling monomers. The materials have come a long way in the nearly 50 years after they became known. Many conferences and workshops have been held, hundreds of papers have been published, and the American Concrete Institute Committee 548 has produced many special publications, guides, and specifications for the use of the materials. The future is bright. New polymers are coming on stream that offer many potential benefits for CPM. Nanotechnology will likely play an important role. Many innovative applications and processes to use CPC including 3D printing and new and exciting products using precast PC are on the horizon.
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