Advancements in Materials, Vol. 2, Issue 6, Dec  2018, Pages 100-109; DOI: 10.31058/ 10.31058/

Healing of Concrete Cracking with the Aid of Bacteria

Advancements in Materials, Vol. 2, Issue 6, Dec  2018, Pages 100-109.

DOI: 10.31058/

Saad Issa Sarsam 1* , Mohammed Fadhel Suliman 2

1 Department of Civil Engineering, College of Engineering, University of Baghdad, Baghdad, Iraq

2 Department of Highway Engineering, College of Engineering, University of Al-Mustansiria, Iraq

Received: 7 August 2018; Accepted: 7 December 2018; Published: 31 December 2018

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Microcracking of rigid pavement usually occurs due to the shrinkage of concrete after casting or throughout its service life due to repeated compressive, tensile, and shear stress. Such cracking exhibit a durability problem since the ingress of moisture and harmful chemicals such as sulphates and chlorides into the concrete through the cracks can cause premature matrix degradation and corrosion of embedded steel reinforcement, which may result in the decrement of strength and life. Implementations of self-healing techniques are adopted by spraying bacteria and healing agent on concrete surface to precipitate CaCo3 on the formed micro-cracks. The precipitation of calcite by continuous hydration of cement helps in production of calcium carbonate precipitation with the help of bacteria. In this work, a soil bacterium named Bacillus subtilis was cultured in the laboratory, the concentration of bacteria cell of B. subtilits in normal saline (NaCl, 9 g/l) suspension was 106 cell/ml. Concrete specimens of various type (cube of 100x100x100 mm, cylinder of 100mm diameter and 200mm height, and beam of 100 x 100 x 500 mm) size have been prepared in the laboratory, then separated to three sets. The first set of specimens were subjected to controlled compression and flexure pre-cracking, and then subjected to healing and curing in a water bath which contains the prementioned bacteria at 20°C for 7 days for healing and curing. The second set was the control specimens cured in water bath for 7 and 28 days at 20°C. The third set of specimens were subjected to healing and curing in a water bath which contains the prementioned bacteria at 20°C for 7 and 28 days and then tested for compressive, indirect tensile, and flexure properties. Control specimens were also prepared and tested for comparison. It was observed that the healing process provided by the bacteria have improved the overall properties of concrete by (23, 10.7 and 16) % for compressive, tensile and flexure strength respectively as compared to those of control mixture after 28 days of curing. On the other hand, specimens subjected to controlled pre-cracking exhibit improvement in strength properties after the healing process provided by the bacteria by (28 and 33) % for compressive and flexure strength respectively as compared to those of control mixture after 7 days of curing. It was concluded that implementation of the healing concept of cracking with the aid of bacteria is beneficial and can be considered as sustainable and environment friendly solution for maintenance.


Maintenance, Concrete, Bacteria, Healing, Pre-Cracking, Pavement


© 2017 by the authors. Licensee International Technology and Science Press Limited. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


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