Concrete has a long, illustrious history stretching back to 6500BC when it was used by Bedouins in Syria and Jordan to construct kilns, waterproof cisterns, rubble wall houses and floors. Since then, concrete technology has of course made many enormous advances but progress has slowed down in the modern era and we are essentially still using the same methods first trialled in the late 19th century. However, science may soon change this as there are a number of revolutionary concrete technologies currently being developed. In this article, we look at three projects which are set to revolutionise the way we build with concrete in the future.
Self healing concrete
No matter how well concrete is mixed, laid and maintained, it will eventually crack and deteriorate. To address this problem, microbiologist Hendrik Jonker developed ‘living’ concrete by mixing concrete with limestone producing bacteria that patches over the concrete. The bacteria is placed in biodegradable capsules inside the concrete where it lies dormant until the concrete cracks and water enters, activating the bacteria. From here, the bacteria begin to feed on calcium lactate, and combining the resulting calcium with carbonate to form the limestone. This incredible living concrete can even be mixed in a liquid solution to be sprayed on existing concrete structures.
Although concrete is a durable and sustainable material, manufacturing the raw material results in substantial C02 emissions. To offset this effect, researchers at Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya in Barcelona have developed a biological concrete capable of regulating heat, lowering C02, and growing plant life. The microorganisms and algae that coat the concrete absorb C02 and release oxygen. The biological concrete works in two layers with the outer layer able to absorb and store rainwater to grow the microorganisms and absorb solar radiation whilst the the lower layer repels water and keeps the internal structure sound.
Runoff from pollutants, and standing water are two key problems for concrete surfaces but the Topmix Permeable technology aims to change that. Capable of absorbing up to 4,000 litres of concrete in 60 seconds, this permeable technology eliminates the dangers of standing water and minimalises the damage it can do to concrete surfaces. On top of that, Topmix Permeable is able to filter out contaminants before they enter the soil.
Prestige Concrete Services are established concrete contractors in Melbourne offering the latest concrete surfacing solutions for homes and businesses. To learn more about our services, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us by calling 0411 440 157.