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 -
Crystalized Light Created At Princeton
'It will be matter, matter made of light...'- John W. Campbell, 1930.
New Material Is One Molecule Thick
'Hasan always pitched a Gauzy - a one-molecule-layer tent...'- Roger Zelazny, 1966.
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.
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.
'Hello, Computer!' Intel's Core M Catches Up To Scotty
'Well, isn't that quaint!'
Visual Speech Recognition - When Will HAL Read Lips For Real?
Automating lip reading.
MIT's Robotic Cheetah Runs Free - And Frolics In The Grass
'THEY sent A SLAMHOUND on Turner's trail...'
Flying Robot Has An Arm
Drones with arms.
Strati 3D Printed Car
'You rode in it - you know how good it is.'
Tracking Spinning Space Junk
'Loose nuts and bolts... had been accumulating in Earth orbit'
Baidu Kuaisou Dune Poison Snooper Chopsticks
'Unobtrusive inspections with... snoopers... Will it be chaumas - poison in the food?'
Crystalized Light Created At Princeton
'It will be matter, matter made of light...'
The Amazing Gravity-Assisted Journey Of Rosetta
'...We used the [moon's] attraction to give us additional starting speed'
AirDog Auto-Follow Drone Captures Your Awesomeness
'Tight mid-shot and pull out on but behind me...'
Dell's Venue 8 7000 Tablet With RealSense Depth-Mapping
Focus on any part of a picture later.
Google's Cartographer Backpack For Indoor Mapping
'He reached to unsnap the cartograph from his belt.'
T-Mobile Sues Huawei Over Button Pushing Robot Idea From The 1930's
'Not the slightest change in their working betrayed the fact that they were now being directed by a machine instead of human beings.'
Hayabusa-2 Asteroid Cannon Strategy From 1950's SF Novel
'Fire streaked in a thin line from the muzzle of a cannon-like tube...'
Dyson 360 Eye Robot Vacuum Cleaner
'It vacuum-cleaned... or polished, consulting tapes in its idiot memory to decide which.'
First 3D Printer In Space?
'It can be mass-produced only in the orbiting factories...'
More SF in the News Stories
More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories