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  3. Three Self-Healing Materials That Could Change the Future of Construction

Three Self-Healing Materials That Could Change the Future of Construction

Three Self-Healing Materials That Could Change the Future of Construction
Three Self-Healing Materials That Could Change the Future of Construction, The aggregate of this concrete contains bacterial spores that fill in any cracks in the material. Image © UCL, Institute of Making/Robert Eagle via flickr
The aggregate of this concrete contains bacterial spores that fill in any cracks in the material. Image © UCL, Institute of Making/Robert Eagle via flickr

Buildings, regrettably, don't last forever. Until recently, the only way to increase a building's lifespan was ongoing maintenance, which can be expensive, time-consuming and in the case of infrastructure such as bridges or roads, inconvenient. Beyond that, periodic replacement of the entire structure was an option, however this is clearly not a sustainable solution, especially considering the amount of CO2-releasing concrete used in modern construction.

But in the 21st century, another alternative is emerging. This article on CityLab uncovers three self-healing materials that could significantly extend the lifespan of a construction, including Erik Schlangen's asphalt that re-sets itself with a dose of induction heating, concrete developed at TU Delft (and elsewhere) that patches up cracks with the help of its living bacterial aggregate, and a recent discovery by MIT scientists that some metals have self-healing properties.

Read the article in full here, or carry on after the break for our own coverage of Erik Schlangen and TU Delft's work in self-healing materials.

Erik Schlangen Demonstrates the Potential of "Self-Healing Asphalt"

Six "Miracle" Materials That Will Change Their Industries

About this author
Rory Stott
Author
Cite: Rory Stott. "Three Self-Healing Materials That Could Change the Future of Construction" 01 Oct 2014. ArchDaily. Accessed . <https://www.archdaily.com/552763/three-self-healing-materials-that-could-change-the-future-of-construction/> ISSN 0719-8884
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