Self Healing Concrete
A must see short video on Bio or Self Healing Concrete.
Inspired by human bone breakages and natural mineralisation healing from osteoblast cells, the Dutch microbiologist Hendrik (Henk) Jonkers, has created a bio concrete that can heal itself when it begins to crack and fail, (which often happens when water penetrates concrete and during the water’s expansion freeze and contraction thaw cycle the concrete can be blown apart … observed by cracking and or delimitation).
The bio self healing concrete is blended with a special dormant bacteria (Bacillus pseudofirmus or Sporosarcina pasteurii) and their favourite food (calcium lactate), which when activated by water ingress into the concrete, the bacteria become active and start to eat the food. Then as the bacteria poop, they poop a calcium, oxygen, carbon dioxide mix which forms a limestone that in turn fills the fissures … HOW AMAZING IS THAT!
Since 70% of Europe’s infrastructure is comprised of concrete, maintenance is an extremely costly affair. This invention however, could significantly extend the life of many concrete structures and potentially save millions of pounds in maintenance costs …
Making Bio Self Healing Concrete may be relatively simple, it only involves the adding of clay pellets containing bacillus spores and pellets containing calcium lactate nutrients. However, the cost of popping the pellets into a cement, sand, ballast mix doubles the cost of a cubic meter of concrete, so: the commercialisation; possible concrete life extension; and potential maintenance cost savings, won’t unfortunately be seen for a little while yet.