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The idea of self repairing concrete could be a real boon to cash strapped municipalities that are constantly spending limited budgets on fixing damaged concrete on city streets.
While this isn’t the first attempt at designing self-repairing concrete, this is a major breakthrough that could bring the idea into the mainstream. Older attempts at developing biological, self-repairing concrete required water to fill in the cracks that would then harden. This new discovery which was published in the ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces journal laces the concrete with biological microbes that react to photosynthesis. In other words, the microbes harden into super hard filler for the cracks.
This self-repairing concrete technology could be extra useful for locations near sea water, where the salty air and water can cause catastrophic corrosion in bridges and boardwalks.