Now a Jordanian researcher has found a very interesting use for this puckering chemical: concrete sealant!
Concrete is very porous and breaks down when water enters all those pours, rusting out the steel innards and, during cold weather, freezing, expanding, and cracking the concrete.
Awni Al-Otoom of the Jordan University of Science and Technology coated concrete with sodium acetate. Sodium acetate, normally a crystal, swells when contacting water. Thus when he applied the water, the sodium acetate at once absorbs the water and blocks further entry of those water molecules into the concrete through that pore. Ingenious. When it dries, the crystal dries too, opening the pore and allowing water that got through to evaporate out. The study is detailed in the Aug. 1 issue of the journal Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research.
This is, of course, of particular timely interest given the dramatic destruction of the bridge in Minneapolis. Was concrete fatigue at fault? Probably not given it was a mostly-steel bridge, but who can say for sure at this time, since there were concrete portions?
So, in the future, you may be able to cross bridges knowing that the flavor of your chips is protecting your ass as you cross.
I wonder if, as you are crossing, you stop and lick the concrete, would it taste like your salt-and-vinegar chips?
Image taken from HERE.