New concrete restores structural cracks per day, absorbing carbon dioxide from the air

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Scientists have developed a new form of self-healing concrete, which uses carbon dioxide to fill the calcium carbonate formed by the cracks during the day.

Even small structural cracks in concrete are a serious threat to any design, since the moisture penetrating in them increases the resulting cavity. This reduces the strength of the building material, and without timely closure of cracks or the complete replacement of the element may eventually lead to collapse.

Over the years, researchers offered various solutions to help avoid expensive service. They proposed to be introduced into sodium silicate microcapsules and even bacteria and fungi producing various substances for filling cracks. However, a lot of time was required to restore the material in such ways.

Now the team from the Worcester Polytechnic Institute has developed a faster and efficient crack closing mechanism. Scientists were added to the solution an enzyme called carboangeerase, which helps human blood cells to transfer CO2.

When a small crack is formed in such a concrete in such a concrete, the enzyme begins to interact with carbon dioxide in the air, quickly forming calcium carbonate crystals, which have very similar to concrete. Experiments have shown that carboangeerase can fill the cracks of millimeter size within 24 hours. This is much faster than other options offered previously, which for recovery required months.

According to the team estimates, the supplement from carboangestase can extend the service life of the concrete structure from 20 to 80 years.

Earlier, we also reported on the invention by Russian scientists.

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