Team Of Scientists Create Concrete That Repairs Itself: It Is Four Times Stronger Than Normal.

Concrete is one such building material whose use is pervasive and global. Its production does not leave the environment unscathed, considering that the cement industry is capable of releasing into the atmosphere around 2.8 billion tonnes of CO2 per year.

If you think about the number of buildings, infrastructure, houses, and much more that are made of concrete, its impact on the atmosphere becomes clear. This is why, among researchers, there is a growing need for projects, studies, and inventions that attempt to reduce damage, and what we are going to tell you demonstrates this perfectly. What is it about? A self-regenerating concrete, capable of repairing itself by absorbing carbon dioxide.


image credit: Worcester Polytechnic Institute

The idea came from the Worcester Polytechnic Institute, an American institution whose researchers have developed truly revolutionary technology in the field of building materials. Using an enzyme found in red blood cells, scientists have succeeded in creating self-regenerating concrete that is four times stronger than traditional ones.

A material that would extend the life of anything built with it, drastically reducing the need for repairs or structural work. And that’s not all: if used on a large scale, the environmental benefits would be obvious, given the damage to production and the fact that it uses (and helps reduce) carbon dioxide. carbon to repair itself.


image credit: Worcester Polytechnic Institute

But how does this “magic” concrete work? Within 24 hours, thanks to CO2, it can seal its cracks on its own, thanks to carbonic anhydrase, an enzyme present in the red blood cells of the human body, which allows CO2 to be transported into the body. blood. A process of natural origin, therefore, which finds an application in the artificial world. When concrete fractures are not yet big and worrying, the enzyme kicks in and manages to “heal” them overnight, thanks to a reaction that produces calcium carbonate crystals and fills in the empty spaces.


image credit: WPI/Youtube

Incredible and almost worthy of science fiction, right? Yet it does exist and was illustrated in full detail in an article published in Applied Materials Today . We just have to wait and hope that it can find an application in most of the constructions made every day.


Worcester Polytechnic Institute

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