Grad Student Designs Self-Healing Concrete

What if the solution to potholes was simply using concrete that fixed itself?

That’s the idea behind University of Rhode Island grad student Michelle Pelletier’s concrete concoction. By mixing a microencapsulated sodium silicate agent into normal concrete, Pelletier created a road material that can regain 26% of its original composition after being fractured.

When the concrete tears or breaks, the sodium silicate capsules break as well, releasing a catalyst that mixes with the normal concrete component of calcium hydroxide. This forms a calcium-silica-hydrate that fills in the cracks, strengthening the material.

Pelletier achieved the 26% strength regeneration with only a 2% solution of sodium silicate, and she believes a higher concentration could lead to even better results.

Pelletier also says her solution is relatively inexpensive; cost is usually the major downside to “smart” building materials. If the solution could pay for itself by saving municipalities road-repair funds, it could be rapidly adopted by penny-pinching state and local governments.

College Student Invents Cost-Effective Self-Healing Concrete? (Autoblog)



good old American engineering is what we need today


Union thugs will do everything they can to prevent this from being implemented. They have already prevented advanced asphalt materials from being used in any state, local, and federal jobs because it would require re-paving LESS often. The up front cost is 15% higher but the material more than pays for itself as it lasts 3x longer.


Wow this stuff is great, I hope they can get this self-healing concrete really going! I live in Pittsburgh, and there are pot holes EVERYWHERE, so it'd be real nice to have this stuff around.

P.S. If you like these stories, check out my blog:


Kenny just nailed it.
Not only unions but asphalt lobby will do all it possible to prevent of usage of these materials.

Remember rubber-asphalt?
Where is it? Ah. Ok.


Lobbyists of all types should be banned.

One person, one vote. One letter to your congressional representative.

We should never have allowed this country and our governments to be taken over by full-time, professional lobbyist companies.


Rich, send e-mail to Obama


I laugh when you think there are asphalt lobbyist!


I called the White House to complain and BP answered. Imagine that.


That was hilarious.

Great design! Highly appreciated...

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