Miami Engineers Debut Concrete That Heals Itself, Could Reduce Carbon Emissions

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A glance outside from just about any structure in the world is likely to show just how prevalent concrete is in human life. But a slightly closer look would also highlight what happens to the material over long periods of time when subjected to the elements. Researchers at the University of Miami in Florida, however, hope that a novel technique could help solve some of those issues. They’ve developed a material that effectively allows the world’s most widely used construction material to heal itself. Miami engineers embedded microorganisms within concrete during the mixing process. As long as the resulting concrete isn’t breached, the tiny organisms remain dormant. But once the material cracks or corrodes, engineers say they respond just as they would elsewhere in nature: by producing glue-like agents in a process known as biomineralization — repairing the cracks from inside the concrete.

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