Revolution in Construction Technology Self-Healing Concrete?

The most important feature of concrete, which is a hard, durable, stone-like accumulation obtained by mixing cement with sand, gravel and appropriate amount of water, is its long life. However, it is inevitable that structural damages occur in concrete over time.

Scientists have found the answer to the question "Is it possible for the concrete to repair when it is damaged under external loads or with external effects over time". Research assistants working at Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands discovered another substance for the concrete to renew itself. Bacteria ...

Henk Jonkers, Biologist, Delft University: ‘‘These bacteria, which we clean from our homes and living spaces, are largely similar to the structure of concrete. First of all, they conform to the structure of the rock and also have an alkaline feature. For this reason, their PH values are high. These bacteria are suitable for living in concrete and do not cause disease. They don't harm people and the environment.''

When there is a small break, the bacteria keep the concrete inside and mix it with the leaking water. Calcium carbonate also speeds up the repair and repairs the crack. Researchers are currently testing how permeable the place that the bacteria repair.

Eirini Tziviloglou, Civil Engineer, Delft University: ‘‘We will test whether the water will pass through the repaired area. We also check how much difference exist before and after the repair."

Scientists are now aiming to test their discoveries on real structures.

70 percent of tunnels and bridges in Europe are made of concrete. It may take several years for this new invention to take its place in the market and be available for sale.


Nele de Belie, Technical Staff, HEALCON Project: ‘‘At first, the price of this material may be high. However, in this way, you can prolong the life of the structures and reduce the maintenance costs. In short, when you look at the situation in general, this self-repairing concrete material is economically inexpensive. ''

We will soon see how far these innovations that is brought by the progresses in concrete technology go.

Release date: 28.02.2018