Novel Concrete Can Heal Itself

Concrete is the world’s most popular building material, but the material’s durability deteriorates over years allowing for potentially devastating consequences. One researcher from Delft University of Technology, Henk Jonkers, has made it his mission to combat this issue by developing a “living concrete.”

Jonkers’ development has produced a new type of concrete that can fix its own cracks by using a bacteria healing agent.

“We are combining nature with construction materials,” said Jonkers.

The main issue with cracking concrete is when leakage begins to take place. At its least sever you will get some water or moisture in your basement, at it’s most sever the leakage gets into a building’s steel reinforcements and causes collapse.

Because concrete provides such a harsh, alkaline environment, choosing bacteria that could survive in it and activate only when water starts to infiltrate the cracks was difficult. Jonkers opted for the bacillus bacteria due to its ability to lie dormant for years and ability to thrive in alkaline conditions.

Jonkers hopes that this development could lead to a new wave of biological buildings.

[Source: CNN]

Researchers work every day to make materials stronger and more dependable. Check out the papers in the Digital Library talking about reinforcing concrete developing better buildings.

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