Have you ever noticed how things built today don’t seem to last like things built “yesterday?” Seriously, look at some of the structures built in ancient times: Stonehenge comes to mind, as well as the Coliseum in Rome and castles across Europe. Then you look at buildings today and how quickly they seem to deteriorate. True, we’re trying to build faster and cheaper, trying to be more efficient with our resources. Maybe the things we’re building don’t need to last that long.
But maybe we’re just waiting for the technology we need to come along. Like self-healing concrete. IFLS wrote an article called Self-Healing Concrete Repairs Its Own Cracks.
A brilliant microbiologist came up with the idea of having a particular kind of bacteria encapsulated inside concrete used for building. When the concrete grows old and cracks, moisture creeps in and releases the bacteria. The bacteria then revive. When the bacteria eat the “food” encapsulated with them, they produce limestone to fill the cracks in the concrete.
Voila, self-healing concrete.
Even cooler, these bacteria can lie dormant for centuries until needed. Now there’s an insurance policy that’ll keep you covered.
For more details, check out IFLS’s article above. The technology is a little expensive right now, but scientists are seeking to develop cheaper options without compromising the effectiveness.
Future concrete: it’s alive!
What do you think, readers? Is this cool or what?