"With a few tweaks, it can be used for developing a crack-detection system if it's hooked up to proper sensors that can monitor and interpret that data," he told Txchnologist.
Zaporzan says the material could also be used in buildings to block or deflect unwanted electromagnetic signals, shield classified data and protect sensitive medical equipment.
As of now, plugging the concrete into the power grid has remained the best option for a power source. However, that could prove costly, not to mention how it would suck energy and resources away from other outlets if, say, an entire highway was to be electrified. But Zaporzan is optimistic, especially if one considers alternative energy options such as wind, solar and hydrogen fuel cells to help power the conductive concrete.
So when can we expect this concrete to start popping up at construction sites and highway projects? "It could be commercialized within one to two years, but we need industry partners," Zaporzan said. "These partners could be anybody who wants to take their product further, from building or bridge owners, medical equipment manufacturers or architects and urban designers."