Concrete has been used in construction for thousands of years. The durable and moldable ability of the medium has been popular for a number of reasons, but a few issues always seem to creep up over the lifespan of any type of sidewalk, driveway, or patio—cracks and holes form thanks to wear and settling over time. At least one research facility thinks it has a solution to the problem and it involves getting the cracks to heal on their own according to Crystal Hunt.
According to Higher Perspectives, Delft Technical University has started working with microbiologists to inject bacteria into concrete mix. The bacteria react to rainwater and the byproduct of the reaction is limestone, which means the bacteria in the material seal the cracks and fill the holes on their own. The concrete in essence heals itself to look good as new for long periods of time. While showing a lot of success in small experiments, the facility is just now tackling volume studies.
The University hopes to have results within six months and get a product to the general public inside of four years. The process is turning a lot of heads in the technology and science industry, and builders across the world are probably excited to get ahold of some self-fixing concrete. The main goal for the moment is reducing cost of the process to more manageable levels, but it looks sidewalk cracks are going to be a thing of the past in the very near future.