What’s next, self-sealing housewrap? Well, maybe….
According to a recent article in New Scientist, concrete will soon be able to heal its own hairline fractures. Yes, you read that right.
As we all know, water can be the enemy of concrete. It seeps into those tiny cracks and wreaks havoc. But thanks to a helpful little bacteria, the days of concrete spider webs could be over. Just add the bacteria and a calcium lactate “food” to your mix, and you’re good to go. When water seeps into cracks, the bacteria uses the water and the “food” to create calcite, a natural cement.
“[T]he bacteria can take on a dormant spore state for long periods—up to 50 years—without food or water.
Only when tiny cracks form in the concrete…and water seeps inside will the bacteria activate and begin to consume the food that has also been freed. As they feed, they combine the calcium with oxygen and carbon dioxide to form calcite—essentially pure limestone.”
The article doesn’t mention when, exactly, this new concrete would be available, but it could be only a few years away.
Now, if only we could invent….