Can Self-Healing Concrete Repair Its Own Cracks?

BioconcreteHave you heard of self-healing concrete? It’s been making headlines all over the place lately. But what is it, exactly?

 

While the title itself sounds like something out of a science fiction story, “living” concrete is on its way to becoming a reality. Why is it necessary though? Concrete has been around for centuries and it’s still an extremely popular building material. Does it really need to improve on itself? In a word, yes. Concrete cracks, and over time cracking means having to replace and re-pour new concrete. Which in turn, costs more money.

 

Here’s what our very own Matthew Roblez, S.E., SECB, has to say about this leap forward in concrete technology:

 

“This is an important breakthrough because cracks in concrete allow water migration.  Water migration causes damage and reduces the life of the concrete structures.   A lot of money is spent on concrete additives and post applied waterproofing to help seal cracks.  This would eliminate this cost and ultimately extend the life of the concrete structures.  Additionally it would save in repair and replacement costs.”

 

Anytime a client or company can save on costs it’s a good thing, and self healing concrete could have a huge impact on the world at large, according to Roblez.

 

“Eventually when this technology is developed, it will give our structural engineers an option to recommend to our clients that will save them thousands if not tens of thousands of dollars in post applied waterproofing and replacement of deteriorated concrete structures.  For structural engineers it really opens up a new industry for consideration in the specification of construction materials.”

 

It will be interesting to see how this “self-healing” concrete evolves, and you can bet the team at McNeil Engineering will be watching the process every step of the way. Technology is pretty amazing, don’t you think?