Concrete is amongst the most widely used building materials in the world because it is durable, flexible and cost effective. The material can be used to create all kinds of buildings and other structures, whether it is used in foundations or the actual structure itself. It can even be engraved or patterned to make decorative features.
Although concrete is durable, over time it can become worn and cracked, particularly when it is under tension. Ground movement can also cause cracks and other problems. If these cracks are allowed to develop, they can put the stability of the structure at risk, especially if the flaws allow moisture to attack the embedded steel.
This potential vulnerability means that the condition of concrete needs to be closely monitored, and repairs need to be carried out as soon as problems are detected. There are several ways to repair concrete, including removing the weakened sections and replacing them with fresh material. This takes skill but it can be accomplished in many settings by highly trained specialists.
A new development may also help to improve the durability of concrete in the future. A team of microbiologists at TU Delft in the Netherlands have created a type of concrete that will repair itself when cracks form. They embedded special bacteria into the material that will release limestone when water gets into a crack, filling it and leaving the material sturdy and free from flaws.
The self-healing concrete is brand new and extensive research is underway to help develop it further so it is commercially viable for all kinds of projects in the future. This could take some time, but the idea and the potential benefits of the material are impressive.
Until it becomes more widely available concrete repair services will still be required. At Churchill Concrete Technology we provide just that and have a talented team with top of the range equipment ready to complete all kinds of service. We are one of the UK’s leading specialists and have experience of both large and small scale projects in a variety of sectors. We have the skills to help you maximise the integrity and aesthetics of all kinds of concrete structures.