Tuesday, November 23, 2010

'BacillaFilla' glue made from bacteria can knit cracks in concrete back together

The BaccaFilla cNiall Firth - A bacteria that can knit together cracks in concrete structures by producing a special ‘glue’ has been developed by British scientists.

The genetically-modified microbe has been programmed to swim down fine cracks in the concrete. Once at the bottom it produces a mixture of calcium carbonate and a bacterial glue which combine to ‘knit’ the building back together.

The ‘BacillaFilla’ eventually hardens to become the same strength as the surrounding concrete and is designed to make buildings last longer.

Joint project instructor Dr Jennifer Hallinan said: ‘Around five per cent of all man-made carbon dioxide emissions are from the production of concrete, making it a significant contributor to global warming.

‘Finding a way of prolonging the lifespan of existing structures means we could reduce this environmental impact and work towards a more sustainable solution.

'This could be particularly useful in earthquake zones where hundreds of buildings have to be flattened because there is currently no easy way of repairing the cracks and making them structurally sound.”

The bacterium used by researchers is called Bacillus subtilis and is commonly found in soil.

The BacillaFilla spores only start germinating when they make contact with concrete – triggered by the very specific pH of the material – and they have an in-built self-destruct gene which means they would be unable to survive in the environment.

via 'BacillaFilla' glue made from bacteria can knit cracks in concrete back together | Mail Online.


Kleintjie Kleinhans said...

Hereby I would like to know if this BacillaFilla glue is available in South Africa.

Cheng said...

I doubt it. It's only just been announced by a team of students at Newcastle Uni, UK. Probably be available in a few years.
This stuff should carry a warning about carrying a tube of it around in your back pocket. If you fell on your arse, it might start filling all sorts of cracks. :O