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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractConcrete is one of the most versatile and common building materials used in industry. However, concrete is prone to cracks, which can eventually lead to collapse of structures. Self-healing concrete, which prevents large cracks by filling micro-cracks as they form, has the potential to mitigate the problems associated with cracking. The mechanism behind self-healing concrete uses a biological agent, such as the Bacillus Subtilis bacteria, which is added to the concrete mix and autonomously heals small cracks by precipitating calcium carbonate. Encapsulating the bacteria with the aggregate not only improves bacterial survival, but also increases the overall tensile strength of the concrete. In addition to the bacteria and aggregate, a cement plant was also designed. Cement is a fine powder which, when mixed with water, has a cohesive property which holds the other components of concrete together. The manufacturing process of cement starts with crushed limestone, which is heated in a kiln until it forms the nodules of calcium silicates that make up clinker, which is then crushed into cement powder. Although more research is necessary to determine the long-term performance and impact, the further development and implementation of self-healing concrete is a worthwhile and potentially profitable pursuit.
Degree ProgramHonors College