Syn.de.Bio is a network of designers, artists and scientists who employ novel design methods and innovative fabrication techniques to explore and manipulate biological material.

Bio-Concrete – Henk Jonkers

 

Concrete is one of the main materials used in the construction industry, from the foundation of buildings to the structure of bridges and underground parking lots. The problem with traditional concrete however is the formation of cracks. This has negative consequences for the durability of the material.

Instead of costly humans having to maintain and repair the concrete, it would be ideal if the concrete would be able to heal itself. This is now possible with help of special bacteria. These bacteria are called extremophiles, because they love to live in extreme conditions. In dry concrete for example they will not only live, but they will actively produce copious amounts of limestone. With this calcium carbonate-based material the little construction workers can actively repair occurring cracks in a concrete structure.

 

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This novel type of self-healing concrete will lead to enormous savings on maintenance and repair costs. Also the sustainability of concrete will increase dramatically, because of a lower demand for natural resources such as cement. This will lead to lower CO2 emissions and change our way of reasoning. Instead of building against nature, biological materials and processes will be integrated into traditional engineering materials and processes.

Faculty: Civil Engineering & Geosciences (CEG)
Individual entry: Henk Jonkers.

 

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Testing in the laboratory of Civil Engineering & Geosciences (CEG), TU Delft

 

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