Thursday, November 8, 2012

Concrete that heals itself!


Now here’s an invention that could revolutionise construction technology as we know it and set your home repair requirements back by years! Doesn't that sound like good news all round?

Scientists in the Netherlands claim to have created a bio-concrete blend that allows concrete to …yes! Heal itself! Anybody who’s in the construction industry or has ever tried to repair cracked concrete knows what a nightmare it can be. Dry and cracked concrete can begin to disintegrate and be messy and nearly impossible to repair. Which, of course, is why this new technology is so exciting! 

Inhabitat.com reports that the Dutch scientists have created a bio-concrete blend with built-in bacteria that patch up on small holes and cracks in concrete. The bacteria basically feeds on the food provided in the concrete when activated by water to combine calcium with carbon dioxide and oxygen. What would be the result is essentially limestone.

In order to find bacteria that could survive in the high-pH environment of the concrete mix as well as lie dormant for years, the scientists looked especially in the soda lakes of Russia and Egypt. Fortunately, the bacteria they found were the perfect match.

Meanwhile, researchers at the University of Newcastle in UK have actually created a new type of bacteria that release glue that can mend concrete! There is, however, no news yet on when these bacteria will be ready for commercialization but the hope is it will be sometime soon.
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