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WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind., and INDIANAPOLIS -- Crafco Inc., an Arizona-based supplier of packaged pavement preservation solutions, has acquired PoreShield, a patented, soy-based protectant that extends the service life of concrete.

PoreShield was created through a research collaboration among Purdue University, the Indiana Soybean Alliance (ISA) and the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT), funded by soybean checkoff dollars.

PoreShield's key ingredient is soy methyl ester-polystyrene, or SME-PS, which is derived from U.S. soybeans. PoreShield is safe, environmentally friendly and easy to apply, requiring no additional personal protective equipment.

Indiana origins

Paul Imbrock, a member of the original research team that created PoreShield, is now a technical lead at Crafco.

"INDOT was experiencing premature saw-cut pavement joint deterioration," he said. "The 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."

Bernard Tao, professor emeritus of agricultural and biological engineering and food science, and Jason Weiss, former Purdue professor of civil engineering, had the idea to try SME-PS for preserving pavement joints. The ISA became a partner to provide material sources and aid in further research and development.

When Imbrock began in Weiss' laboratory, SME-PS already had been working well in laboratory tests. Imbrock established field trials and further testing with INDOT.

"When I left Purdue, I started a company to license the intellectual property that was jointly held by Purdue and the ISA. The license was issued by the Purdue Innovates Office of Technology Commercialization," Imbrock said. "The road to implementation with INDOT was a long one.

Ultimately, I moved to a role as a consultant for ISA helping with market development and supporting additional licensees. This is when SME-PS became PoreShield and was marketed as a product rather than a generalized technology."

Imbrock said ISA was instrumental in bringing PoreShield into the world by continuing to support university research, as well as market development work through trade shows, conferences and direct meetings with industry and INDOT.

In 2019, INDOT applied PoreShield on sections of U.S. 24, Interstate 69 and Interstate 65. INDOT saved money and reduced labor costs compared to the products and practices it replaced. The estimates are a 20% percent savings from application on joint treatments and a 25%-35% savings from surface treatments, such as on bridges.

"You've invested millions in a concrete highway, it's something you want to last for at least two decades, and PoreShield has been proven to extend the life of concrete," Imbrock said.

State departments of transportation in Iowa, Nebraska and Wisconsin have conducted real-world testing of PoreShield and adopted it for use in road projects. PoreShield has been applied on patios and walkways at universities including Purdue, the sidewalks of a fire station and hundreds of residential driveways. It can be applied in other construction and architectural projects including parking lots and garages, curbing, buildings, dams and pipelines.

About Purdue University

Purdue University is a public research institution with excellence at scale. Ranked among top 10 public universities and with two colleges in the top 4 in the United States, Purdue discovers and disseminates knowledge with a quality and at a scale second to none. More than 105,000 students study at Purdue across modalities and locations, with 50,000 in person on the West Lafayette campus. Committed to affordability and accessibility, Purdue's main campus has frozen tuition 12 years in a row. See how Purdue never stops in the persistent pursuit of the next giant leap, including its first comprehensive urban campus in Indianapolis, the new Mitchell E. Daniels, Jr. School of Business, and Purdue Computes, at

About Purdue Innovates Office of Technology Commercialization

The Purdue Innovates Office of Technology Commercialization operates one of the most comprehensive technology transfer programs among leading research universities in the U.S. Services provided by this office support the economic development initiatives of Purdue University and benefit the university's academic activities through commercializing, licensing and protecting Purdue intellectual property. In fiscal year 2022, the office reported 157 deals finalized with 237 technologies signed, 379 disclosures received and 169 issued U.S. patents. The office is managed by the Purdue Research Foundation, which received the 2019 Innovation and Economic Prosperity Universities Award for Place from the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities. In 2020, IPWatchdog Institute ranked Purdue third nationally in startup creation and in the top 20 for patents. The Purdue Research Foundation is a private, nonprofit foundation created to advance the mission of Purdue University. Contact for more information.

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