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DR. ALAN RICHARDSON, NORTHUMBRIA UNIVERSITY

SELF HEALING CONCRETE

www.northumbria.ac.uk/about-us/our-staff/r/alan-richardson

Repairing cracks in concrete structures can be time-consuming and expensive, but academics at Northumbria University are working to develop a self-repair system which uses natural bacteria to seal cracks, preventing so-called ‘concrete cancer.’ Led by Dr. Alan Richardson, a reader in the department of Mechanical and Construction Engineering, the research rests on ground-borne bacteria–bacilli megaterium–to create calcite, a crystalline form of natural calcium carbonate. This can then be used to fill existing cracks and block the concrete’s pores, keeping out water and other damaging substances to prolong the life of the concrete.