Self-healing masonry

Scientists are exploiting the unique properties of bacteria to help develop a self-healing system for buildings and historic structures. Based at Cardiff University, the team have set out to produce a system that can be simply applied to building stone and masonry to give it self-healing properties. Once applied, the team state that any sort of damage to the stone will trigger the release of bacteria and a range of ‘helper’ chemicals, allowing the damage to start repairing itself autonomously.

As part of the study, the team will be looking at the different ways that bacteria, along with the precursor chemicals, can be introduced into building stone and masonry as well as the various benefits that it can bring under a number of situations.

The researchers already have a firm idea of the intricate processes involved, specifically with regards to the behaviour of the bacteria once it is inside of masonry.