Outdoor Testing For Self-Healing Concrete
Concrete that contains limestone-producing bacteria will undergo outdoor testing this winter. The bacteria are activated by corrosive rainwater working its way into the structure.
(Experimental concrete patches up cracks by itself)
"For durability reasons - in order to improve the service life of the construction - it is important to get these micro-cracks healed," Dr Jonkers told BBC News.
Bacterial spores and the nutrients they will need to feed on are added as granules into the concrete mix. But water is the missing ingredient required for the microbes to grow.
Concrete is the world's most popular building material, but cracking is a problem
So the spores remain dormant until rainwater works its way into the cracks and activates them. The harmless bacteria - belonging to the Bacillus genus - then feed on the nutrients to produce limestone.
The bacterial food incorporated into the healing agent is calcium lactate - a component of milk. The microbes used in the granules are able to tolerate the highly alkaline environment of the concrete.
"In the lab we have been able to show healing of cracks with a width of 0.5mm - two to three times higher than the norms state," Dr Jonkers explained.
The outdoor tests should begin [in six months]; the team is already talking to several construction firms that could provide help.
The concrete will then have to be monitored for a minimum of two years to see how it behaves in this real-world setting.
SF writer J.G. Ballard wrote about self-healing buildings with plastex walls in his 1962 short story The Thousand Dreams of Stellavista:
It was a beautiful room all right, with opaque plastex walls and white fluo-glass ceiling, but something terrible had happened there. As it responded to me, the ceiling lifting slightly and the walls growing less opaque, reflecting my perspective-seeking eye, I noticed that curious mottled knots were forming, indicating where the room had been strained and healed faultily.
Building, heal thyself - with these links:
Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 11/10/2012)
Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.
| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |
you like to contribute a story tip?
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add
Comment/Join discussion ( 0 )
Related News Stories -
Vantablack Is Blacker Than Your Black
'Well, we have a black coating now thatís ninety-nine percent absorptive...'- Dpc Smith, 1934.
Shatterproof Phone Screens Coming Soon
'It was like the pounding of a rock...'-Clifford Simak, 1963.
'Smart Silk' In Quantity
Strongest stuff in the world, stronger than the best steel. Synthetic spider silk...- Robert Heinlein, 1939.
Home Made Lightsaber?
'Instantly the disk put forth a blue-white beam as thick around as his thumb.'-George Lucas, 1976
Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!)
is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for
the Invention Category that interests
you, the Glossary, the Invention
Timeline, or see what's New.
Man-Made Space Leaf Creates Oxygen From Water And Light
'What better purifying machine is there than... grass?'
Robot With Broken Leg Learns To Walk Again
Robots that learn to walk again are now on the march.
World's First Android Newscaster (Video)
'The autonomic TV interviewer, camera in its hand, blocked his path.'
Japan Invites Robot Athletes To Gather For 2020 Olympics
It's time we started to get rid of that distinction between metal and flesh, and IC and neuron, don't you think?
CV Dazzle Anti-Surveillance Make-Up
Let's hear it for the vague blur!
LG Display's 18 Inch Flexible OLED Panel Is Awesomely Cool
'...a wide sheet of clear material suddenly flared with light and swirling color.'
Tiniest Microphone Inspired By Fly
'Transmitting to its manipulator, far away now, all that it heard through its ear microphones...'
NASA's Highway In The Sky For Drones
Traffic is everywhere.
Palcohol Powdered Alcohol - Try Or Ban?
'I had a small can of powdered alcohol disguised as tooth powder...'
pd.id Personal Drink ID Device Like Dune 'Poison Snooper'
'The jeweled hands clutching drinks (and the unobtrusive inspections with tiny remote-cast snoopers)...'
Monsieur Bartending Robot
'He poured the liquids into his maw...'
Cities Detect Gunfire Acoustics With ShotSpotter
'Sound trackers on the roof...'
Cruise Automation's 'Highway Autopilot' For $10K
'It cut her out of the stream of vehicles and reduced the speed of her car...'
Pengheng Space Capsule Hotel Staffed Entirely By Robots
'A planet-wide chain of hotels that specialized in non-human service.'
Electric Bacteria That Live On Pure Energy
'April 5, 1977; that was the night the waveries came.'
EXACTO Smart Bullet From DARPA
Nicely visualized in what 1984 movie?
More SF in the News Stories
More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories