New concrete heals cracks with a special fungus

As practice shows, cracks in concrete can be “healed” as long as they are very tiny. That is why recently, scientists in a number of countries have been working on the creation of self-healing concrete.

A group of researchers at the University of Binghamton (New York) has found an interesting solution. Scientists began adding a mixture of nutrients and spores of the fungus Trichoderma reesei to the concrete.

After the concrete hardens, the spores in it are at rest, but only until microcracks appear. Under the influence of water and oxygen, the spores begin to germinate, and the resulting calcium carbonate precipitate hardens and seals the cracks.

Research is still at an early stage, so it is too early to talk about the mass production of fungal concrete. Meanwhile, colleagues at the University of Newcastle and the University of Bath have already developed an analogue that uses bacteria that produce calcium carbonate.