Concrete is the most used building material in the world. It’s strong and used in structures and roads we use every day. Concrete does have some flaws though, especially when it isn’t constructed properly. Today we’ll talk about self-healing concrete and how it’s changing concrete cracking for the future. Keep reading to learn about it and visit our website for more on construction with Tolley Concrete

Scientists and engineers have experimented for years with various materials to create self-healing concrete. It was Henk Jonkers, a microbiologist in the Netherlands, who finally landed on bacillus, a bacteria. Jonkers said a strong bacteria was needed, one that could survive the harsh environment of concrete. Bacillus fits the bill.

He was right. Bacillus is a rock-like substance, and it’s incredibly dry, making it perfect to combat any moisture problems. This bacteria thrives in the high-alkaline conditions of concrete and is capable of producing spores that can live up to four years without nourishment or oxygen. 

There are other types of self-healing concrete, though. A student and professor at the University of Rhode Island created a self-healing concrete utilizing a micro-encapsulated sodium silicate healing agent. When the concrete cracks, the capsules rupture, causing the calcium hydroxide in the concrete to react with the sodium silicate, forming a gel that hardens, healing the cracks. This is an inexpensive option. For more information on different concrete innovations, visit our other blog posts

The world of concrete is constantly changing and growing, and we’re excited to be a part of it. Scientists and engineers continue to learn and develop new materials for us to use. These change our day-to-day construction for the better, and help us make better places for our clients. To work with us on your upcoming project, visit our website for a free quote