Self-Healing Concrete

Reposted from the 9/2/10 ASEE First Bell:

Bacteria Could Be Key To Self-Healing Concrete.

New Scientist (9/2, McAlpine) reports, “Concrete could soon be healing its own hairline fractures” through the incorporation of bacteria. And whereas water exacerbates the damage of cracks in regular concrete, in this new design it would be part of the healing process, serving to activate the bacteria. Researchers at Delft University of Technology, in the Netherlands, found “some strains of Bacillus” that could thrive in the high pH environment of concrete and remain dormant for long periods of time. “To keep the spores from activating in the wet concrete mix, and to keep them and their calcium lactate food from affecting the quality of the concrete, [the researchers] first set both into ceramic pellets 2 to 4 millimetres wide and then added them to the concrete.” The pellets crack when the concrete does, and when activated the bacteria “combine the calcium with oxygen and carbon dioxide to form calcite.”

1 Response to “Self-Healing Concrete”

  1. 1 countercultureinc November 29, 2010 at 6:39 PM

    That is one of the most interesting concrete related articles Ive ever read! seriously. I build concrete countertops and would love to incorporate this into my designs.

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September 2010

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