UK-Based Company Develops New, Highly Absorbent Concrete

From Texas to Maine, 2015 has seen a number of flash flooding incidents that have left towns all across the country under water. Soon, however, thanks to a recent innovation from the British building materials company Tarmac, some of these towns may be able to pave their streets, sidewalks, and parking lots in a new kind of concrete that soaks up water at an unprecedented rate.

The concrete mix, called Topmix Permeable, is able to absorb water at a remarkable rate of roughly 1,000 gallons per minute. Similarly absorbent paving materials have actually been around for a while, but their practical applications were limited by their weight tolerances. Topmix is reportedly the first concrete of its kind that’s able to withstand the weight of vehicles.

The makers of Topmix are optimistic that their product could help supplement municipal storm water drainage systems during severe weather events. It could also help to prevent water from pooling on highways which can cause accidents due to hydroplaning.

Topmix consists of a porous top layer of concrete, paved over a deeper layer of gravel that allows water to drain quickly away from the surface of the road. Surfaced paved in Topmix could also be designed with water reclamation in mind. With the addition of an impermeable membrane, water could be captured and reused in graywater applications.

There is some question as to how well Topmix will stand up in cold climates, but Tarmac claims that their product is able to withstand freeze-thaw cycles. Topmix is currently only available in the UK, but we wouldn’t be surprised to see it come stateside within the next couple years.

Stay tuned for more updates from the makers of fine concrete driveways, countertops, decorative pathways and more – Templin Concrete Construction.

Written by Mike Templin

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