- Researchers from Cardiff University in Wales are testing three concrete healing technologies based on their self-healing concrete formula, according to the Tech Times.
- The project, Materials for Life (M4L), will be the formula’s first test, and researchers hope to come away with a system that can be embedded into concrete structures to facilitate repairs when it senses damage.
- Researchers are using six concrete walls — with each containing one of the three different concrete healing technologies — in order to determine how well each technology works.
Concrete is one of the most used building materials in the world, and it costs construction firms across the globe billions of dollars each year to repair.
"These self-healing materials and intelligent structures will significantly enhance durability, improve safety and reduce the extremely high maintenance costs that are spent each year," said lead scientist Professor Bob Lark.
The first technology uses shape-memory polymers that can repair large cracks in the concrete. The second technique involves pumping organic and inorganic "healing" materials into the surface of the concrete. The third technique involves using healing agents and bacteria, via small capsules, which will produce calcium carbonate to heal the cracks.
"Our vision is to create sustainable and resilient systems that continually monitor, regulate, adapt and repair themselves without the need for human intervention," Lark said.