A new concrete that fixes its own cracks could be the future material for buildings and streets. Reading about this invention will blow your geek mind.
A Dutch scientist invented self-healing concrete. Researcher Henk Jonkers from TU Delft has created a "living concrete." The Bio-concrete is able to heal itself with embedded bacteria
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Henk Jonkers says "What makes this limestone-producing bacteria so special is that they are able to survive in concrete for more than 200 years and come into play when the concrete is damaged. For example, if cracks appear as a result of pressure on the concrete, the concrete will heal these cracks itself."
The living concrete is not a pipe dream. There will be three products launched on the market this year comprised of self-healing concrete, repair mortar and a liquid repair variant.
According to CNN, Jonkers is using the bacillus bacteria in the bio-concrete, because that bacteria can live in alkaline conditions and produce spores that can survive for decades without food or oxygen. To make the bacteria create limestone, Jonkers feeds them calcium lactate.
The bacteria and calcium lactate are inside tiny capsules made from biodegradable plastic. When water enters through cracks in the concrete the capsules are dissolved and the bacteria starts to make limestone fixing the cracks; my geek mind has been successfully blown!
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Henk Jonkers and his bio-concrete of the future have now been nominated for a European Inventor Award, an initiative of the European Patent Office (EPO).