This is absolutely amazing if not like something out of a science fiction novel. Experimental concrete that patches up cracks by itself is to undergo outdoor testing. The concrete contains limestone-producing bacteria, which are activated by corrosive rainwater working its way into the structure.
The new material could potentially increase the service life of the concrete – with considerable cost savings as a result. The work is taking place at Delft Technical University, the Netherlands.It is the brainchild of microbiologist Henk Jonkers and concrete technologist Eric Schlangen. If all goes well, Dr Jonkers says they could start the process of commercialising the system in 2-3 years.
Concrete is the world’s most widely used building material. But it is prone to cracks, which means that structures need to be substantially reinforced with steel.