Why do concrete and asphalt deteriorate?

Scientists reveal that the deterioration of modern concrete and asphalt structures is due to the presence of trace quantities of organic matter in these structures.

Cement and asphalt are vital to modern construction materials; cement is used for the construction of various buildings and structures, while asphalt is primarily used for highways and runways. They have been widely used for these purposes since the 1800s. It has been observed modern concrete structures and asphalt structures tend to deteriorate much faster than historical structures, but the reason for this phenomenon was unknown.

A team of scientists from six institutions, including Akihiro Moriyoshi, Emeritus Professor Hokkaido University, have revealed that the presence of trace quantities of organic matter in modern concrete structures and asphalt pavements drive the deterioration of these structures.

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