It’s no secret that aging roads, bridges and tunnels are a topic of concern in the U.S. However, it’s not just politicians that are dealing with crumbling infrastructure. Without a functional infrastructure system, manufacturers could have difficulties staying competitive in the global economy.
Researchers from Binghamton University and Rutgers University may have found a way to put an end to crumbling roads with a self-healing concrete.
Inspired by the body’s ability to heal itself, researchers incorporated spores of a fungus — along with nutrients — within the concrete matrix while it’s being mixed.
The spores stay dormant in the hardened concrete until the first micro-crack appears. The crack allows water and oxygen to seep in which caused the spores to grow and create calcium carbonate which seals the crack. The spores then go back to being dormant until the next crack appears.
The research is still in the early stages and there are several challenges ahead however scientists are hopeful further adjustments could be made to allow the fungus to effectively fill the cracks.