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November 6, 2012

Amazing Re-healable Concrete

Amazing Re-Healable Concrete – Bacteria That Makes Concrete Heal Itself

This is truly amazing: a small bacteria is able to fix the small cracks in the concrete which lead to roads eventually being eroded, or buildings falling apart. How is that possible, you ask? Dutch scientists have discovered a species of bacteria which will eat calcium-rich food and excrete limestones.

For the moment, the researchers are still testing this innovating method to make concrete last even longer than it already does.

The mechanism is as amazing as it is simple: This “self-healing” concrete is nothing more than normal concrete, but with a twist. It is impregnated with dormant spores of the “miracle” limestone-excreting bacteria.

We all know that when a crack in a wall can actually pose a threat to the construction when it is visible, and huge. But before this crack gets that big, it originally was a micro-crack. When water (from rain, or snow or other such weather phenomenas) protrudes in the micro-cracks, it erodes the concrete until the huge, life threatening crack rears its ugly head.

And here is where the amazing bacteria comes in. When the spores come into contact with the water, they come to life, eat-up all of the hydrated calcium from their environment, and secrete concrete “glue” which eventually repairs the micro-cracks before they become mega-fractures.

The amazing research work is done at Delft Technical University, the Netherlands and if all goes well, Dr Henk Jonkers (the leader of the study) says they could start the process of commercializing the system in 2-3 years.

Pretty neat huh? So if you’re planning on building a house, wait three more years, you’ll be able to get this amazing, innovating construction material for the safety of your home and family.

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