Self-Repairing Concrete Might Build the Future

By Mihai Andrei, ZMEScience – Tomorrow’s bridges, tunnels and other engineering structures might be built with a different material – a type of “smart” concrete. Belgian researchers at the University of Ghent have created two types of self-repairing concrete, using polymers and bacteria. “The concrete is filled with super-absorbent polymers. So when a crack appears, water comes in, and the super-absorbent polymers swell and they block the crack from further intake of water.” The concrete was developed as part of a pioneering European project called healCON. The idea of developing self-repairing materials is not new, and it has been suggested in several materials, though it hasn’t been applied at a truly large scale. Bath University researchers have also suggested using self-repairing concrete last year, and the topic seems to be picking on a lot of steam. Nele de Belie, Technical Director of the Magnel Laboratory for Concrete Research explains that...

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