Bio-Based Self-Healing Concrete: From Research to Field Application

Tziviloglou E., Van Tittelboom K., Palin D., Wang J., Sierra-Beltran M. G. , Ersan Y. Ç. , ...More

SELF-HEALING MATERIALS, vol.273, pp.345-385, 2016 (Peer-Reviewed Journal) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Review
  • Volume: 273
  • Publication Date: 2016
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/12_2015_332
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded
  • Page Numbers: pp.345-385
  • Keywords: Bacteria, Calcium carbonate precipitation, Concrete, Crack sealing, Repair systems, BACTERIAL CARBONATE PRECIPITATION, SURFACE-TREATMENT, PROTECTION, STONE, REINFORCEMENT, PERMEABILITY, IMPROVEMENT, CACO3


Cracks are intrinsic concrete characteristics. However, cracking can endanger the durability of a structure, because it eases the ingress of aggressive gasses and liquids. Traditional practices tackle the problem by applying manual repair. Scientists inspired by nature have created self-healing concrete able to self-repair as a result of the metabolic activity of bacteria. Various research groups have studied bio-based self-healing concepts over the last decade. Although the metabolic pathways of different bacteria can vary, the principle is essentially the same: a bio-based healing agent is incorporated into fresh concrete and when a crack appears in hardened concrete the bacteria become active, precipitate limestone and seal the open crack. Bio-based self-healing concrete technology targets the recovery of the original performance of concrete by regaining water tightness lost by cracking. Along these lines, bio-based repair systems have also been developed to protect existing structures by applying materials that are more concrete-compatible and environmentally friendly than existing repair materials. All these innovative concepts have shown promising results in laboratory-scale tests. Steps have been taken towards the first full-scale outdoor applications, which will prove the functionality of this new technology.