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Cardiff scientists are set out to develop self-healing masonry

A system that can be simply applied to building stone and masonry to give it self-healing properties.

Cardiff scientists are set out to develop self-healing masonry
Image: Cardiff University
 

In order to develop buildings and historic structures, Cardiff scientists are exploiting the unique properties of bacteria to help develop a self-healing masonry. The system can be simply applied to building stone and masonry to give it self-healing properties.

The technology actually relies on the fact that naturally occurring microorganisms such as bacteria can produce mineral deposits when mixed with certain precursor chemicals. Once the material has been applied, any kind of harm to the stone will trigger the arrival of microorganisms and a scope of ‘assistant’ chemicals, enabling the harm to begin repairing itself self-ruling.

For the examination, scientists are looking at the distinctive ways that microscopic organisms, alongside the forerunner chemicals, can be brought into building stone and brickwork and in addition the different advantages that it can bring under various circumstances.

Study’s principal investigator Dr. Mike Harbottle said, “When present in masonry, the bacteria that produce the mineral deposits become entombed as spores, alongside the chemical precursors, within the mineral that it is producing.”

Dr. Magdalini Theodoridou, the research fellow on the project said, “Masonry structures are constantly deteriorating primarily due to the effects of weathering effects. These could be physical, chemical or biological changes which can all slowly attack the masonry structure.”

“Over time, usually many years, this damage builds up until fractures arise. Whilst these may not compromise the integrity of a structure immediately if allowed to develop then the damage may become critical.”

All through the two-year venture, the group will create approaches to design self-mending frameworks into the stonework, regardless of whether this is amid the material’s generation stage or once the workmanship has been utilized as a building material. One possible application could be to produce a liquid or suspension, which you could buy from a local DIY store, containing all of the bacteria and chemicals that could be sprayed on to masonry to repair the damage.

 

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