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Nov 06, 2012

Dutch Scientists Create Concrete that Heals Itself with Built-in Bacteria

Concrete is amazing stuff, and fun to work with in your own art and DIY projects. But, if it suffers a crack, the surrounding material will begin to disintegrate.

So, a team of scientists in the Netherlands have a created a new mix that can regenerate itself with the help of handy nutrient-munching bacteria.PSFK reports, 

The concrete mixture is composed of small ceramic pods filled with spores of bacteria and nutrients (calcium lactate).  When the concrete slab is solid and intact, these spores remain inactive.  However when a crack appears in the concrete, water will seep in to the ceramic pods and activate the bacteria.  The calcium lactate will then be converted in to calcite by the active bacteria, which is one of the two primary components in limestone.  In the lab, this method has been used to fill cracks up to 0.5 millimeters wide. 

And, we're digging on those stylish black dots, as well. More tests are being done, but the product could hit stores in less than two years.

Learn more at PSFK and Inhabitat.

 


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