Self-Healing Concrete: The potential game-changer of Construction Industry
Bacterial Concrete or self-healing concrete has emerged as the new substitute for traditional concrete mix in the exponentially growing construction Industry. Construction work requires dealing with at most precision and is detail oriented and that’s why the process is very carefully planned and executed, but sometimes due to very small yet significant errors, the structure tends to fail well before the end of its service life.
Cracks being the major reason of failure of such structures pose a threat both economically and user safety-wise and that’s why the need for such a material arose which would not only repair the cracks by itself but also will be instrumental in avoiding the hassle, the manual repairing work would create. That was the point where the idea of bacterial or self-healing concrete was born.
After numerous experiments and trials, the research fraternity all over the world was finally able to come up with a solution and thus a material was developed which would biologically produce limestone to heal cracks appearing on the surface of concrete structures. The material was called self-healing/bacterial concrete as it has all the properties of concrete with the added advantage of self-repairing.
Bacillus, a type of bacteria along with calcium-lactate, nitrogen and phosphorus is mixed with the ingredients of concrete and the combination acts as a self-healing agent which also has the capability of lying dormant within the concrete for a period of 200 years, way more than the service life of the concrete structures.
Concrete having the tendency to withstand only compressive force is reinforced with steel to withstand the tensile stress and thus avoids the formation of cracks. This type of method usually is suitable for all the structures but in case of structures having moisture or water around (basement and other underground structures, marine structures), there’s high risk of corrosion of reinforcement steel leading to the development of cracks. Repairing of such structures is both time and resource consuming as well as it still poses the threat. The development of Bacterial Concrete can be a boon for such structures thus revolutionizing the Construction Industry.