Repairing structures: Concrete that uses a specific type of fungi as a healing agent


EXCERPT: [...] The hesitancy to invest in America’s infrastructure may come from a number of sources, but the fact remains that most want something to be done before the consequences are too severe. [...] This research is the first application of fungi for self-healing concrete, a low-cost, pollution-free and sustainable approach. [...] When this fungus is mixed with concrete, it originally lies dormant — until the first crack appears. “The fungal spores, together with nutrients, will be placed into the concrete matrix during the mixing process. When cracking occurs, water and oxygen will find their way in. With enough water and oxygen, the dormant fungal spores will germinate, grow and precipitate calcium carbonate to heal the cracks [...] When the cracks are completely filled and ultimately no more water or oxygen can enter inside, the fungi will again form spores. As the environmental conditions become favorable in later stages, the spores could be wakened again.”


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