A new concrete mix able to resist salt absorption could help protect pavements in cold regions from damage.
The salt that is commonly spread on pavements in winter to reduce ice also causes eventual deterioration when absorbed by the concrete as salty water. To help alleviate this wear on infrastructure, the team from Brunel University created a concrete mix that incorporates a sodium acetate compound. When the concrete absorbs water (including salty water), some of it is also absorbed by the sodium acetate, creating crystals that line the pores of the material to resist water absorption and chloride damage.
Image: (Left) Sodium Acetate at x10000 zoom (Right) Sodium Acetate interacting with concrete at x20000 zoom