Bio-Concrete – Concrete that can “Heal” Cracks

Roy Shelley | Rogers Townsend | May 15, 2015

The construction industry is nothing if not innovative. Dutch researchers have found a way to mix bacteria into concrete in order to repair cracks. The bacteria remain  dormant until water (entering through a crack) dissolve a plastic encapsulation, whereupon the bacteria grow and consume a calcium lactate additive. This growth cycle produces limestone which closes the cracks.

Obviously more testing is needed; there would likely be a limit on the size of cracks which could be “healed” in this way, and there would likely be a difference in the strength of a healed crack vs. a traditionally-repaired crack, but it holds promise for addressing smaller cracks that allow water intrusion and slow deterioration.

Fascinating stuff. From a legal perspective, these types of innovations touch on more than just the construction field – patent law, environmental law, and general liability issues are all potentially implicated.

But now Dr. Bruce Banner has hope for finding a bride. (+5 for getting that reference.)

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