Pavement-minded Crafco acquires Poreshield intellectual property

Crafco Inc., Arizona-based packaged pavement preservation solutions provider, has acquired PoreShield, a patented, soy-based protectant that extends concrete service life. The agent was created through a research collaboration among Purdue University, the Indiana Soybean Alliance (ISA) and Indiana Department of Transportation, funded by soybean checkoff dollars. PoreShield’s key ingredient is soy methyl ester-polystyrene, or SME-PS. Derived from domestic soybeans, the compound yields a safe and environmentally friendly agent that crews can apply with ease while requiring no additional personal protective equipment.

“Indiana DOT was experiencing premature saw-cut pavement joint deterioration,” says Crafco Technical Lead Paul Imbrock, a member of the original research team behind PoreShield. “Saw cuts on concrete highways tend to hold water, and deicing salts often are the limiting factor in the service life of concrete pavements. Repairing just the saw-cut joints in concrete pavements is costly and requires closing to traffic or otherwise maintaining traffic patterns for the construction zone.”

Imbrock studied under former Purdue Professor of Civil Engineering Jason Weiss, now at Oregon State University, and Agricultural and Biological Engineering Professor Emeritus Bernard Tao, who shared the idea of using SME-PS for pavement joint preservation and observed the agent’s potential early on in lab tests. The ISA became a partner to provide material sources and aid in further research and development, while field trials and further testing commenced with INDOT. The ISA was instrumental in commercializing PoreShield by continuing to support university research, as well as market development work through trade shows, conferences and direct meetings with industry and INDOT, Imbrock notes. The agency’s counterparts in Iowa, Nebraska and Wisconsin have tested and adopted PoreShield in road specifications. The product has also been used in horizontal or vertical concrete conditions in public or private facilities. 

“PoreShield represents the next generation of pavement preservation products: safer, easier to use and more effective,” affirms Crafco Vice President of Specialty Products Lisa Zentner. “With this acquisition, we are poised to enter new markets, helping reduce the burden of preserving concrete in a variety of applications.” 

PHOTO: Rebecca Robiños, Purdue University Under a Purdue University Research Foundation licensing arrangement, Luna Lu founded Wavelogix to commercialize the Rebel Sensor.

TIME, the century-old weekly magazine, named the Rebel Concrete Strength Sensor in “Best Inventions of 2023 – 200 innovations changing how we live.”

The sensor is the charter product of Wavelogix Inc., an Indiana startup founded by Purdue University Reilly Professor of Civil Engineering Luna Lu.

Measuring concrete matrix strength development, the embedded device arms engineers and contractors to make data-driven formwork placement and removal decisions to improve project efficiency and safety. Agencies testing the Rebel Sensor so far include the Indiana and Texas Departments of Transportation.