Self-healing concrete goes on sale in the UK

Grant Prior 3 years ago
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Precast specialist JP Concrete has signed a supply deal with a pioneering Dutch firm to offer self-healing concrete in the UK.

JP Concrete has linked-up with Basilisk to supply its new Sensicrete product in this country.

The self-healing system was developed by inventor Henk Jonkers and allows concrete to seal its own cracks.

It acts as a habitat for limestone-producing bacteria which sleep in the concrete until woken by air and water, which get in through cracks.

They then begin producing limestone until the crack is sealed – at which point the bacteria go back to sleep.

Jonkers said: “Concrete becomes unsafe when its reinforcements break down. Concrete is usually reinforced with steel rebar, and this corrodes when water gets to it. By making sure that the concrete seals up any cracks before water reaches the rebar, we can keep the steel safe for longer and prolong the life of the structure.

“This is done by adding a special bacterial ingredient to the concrete as it’s being mixed. The bacteria only become active when the concrete cracks and water gets in.

“When the bacteria activates, it starts to produce limestone. The limestone fills and seals the crack, and the water is driven back. This makes the concrete much more durable and extends the structure’s lifetime. It’s as simple as that.

“It’s combining nature with construction materials. It’s asking nature to help us, rather than fighting against nature. It’s very sustainable.”

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