In news– A faculty member at the National Institute of Technology – Karnataka (NIT-K), Surathkal, has recently received an Indian patent for producing cement mortar brick with inclusion of bacteria in combination.
- The cement mortar brick is claimed to be superior to the conventional ones in terms of strength and life of the structure and possess a self-healing property.
- According to faculty member, microbialcreat composite is a new-age material with the property of self-healing upon cracking.
- This action is by the precipitation of lime (calcium carbonate) by the non-pathogenic bacteria used in the composite, upon coming into contact with air and water through the crack.
- The precipitated lime will cover the crack, thereby improving the stability of the surface.
- The non-pathogenic bacteria of genus Enterobacter, Enterococcus and Serratia, and its growth solution are part of this invented composite along with sand and cement.
- This invention is not limited to this specific system but using the same technique, development of biocement and bioconcrete are feasible, towards which a research group under the faculty is working on.
- Microbial Crete Composite cement mortar has the potential for large scale use in the construction industry such as to enhance stability of nuclear power reactors, medical storage structures, retaining walls, embankments and dams etc.