Posted March 28, 2018

The mushroom that fixed my driveway

University works to develop a fungus that will help concrete cracks heal themselves.

When it comes to concrete, the smallest cracks can lead to the biggest problems, according to one Binghamton University researcher.

But, asks Congrui Jin, assistant professor of mechanical engineering at Binghamton University, "What if concrete could heal itself like our bodies can?”

BU researchers are confident they can perfect a fungus that will heal the cracks that naturally form in concrete within three years, just in time to help with much-needed infrastructure work both locally and nationally. 

Self-healing concrete would prevent having to send engineers into precarious situations on bridges, roads and skyscrapers to search for almost impossible to find cracks. The fungus would naturally secrete minerals that fill in the cracks without human intervention or monitoring, saving time and money. 

“Rain and moisture will find their way into the cracks in the concrete, which will cause the fungus to germinate, and as they germinate they will form and create mineral deposits that will fill the crack, which would be able to repeat the process over time,” Jin said. 

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