Bacillus Subtilis as Self-Healing Agent in Cement Mortar: Combined and the Separate Effect of Bacteria and Calcium Lactate on Self-Healing Behavior in Cement Mortar
Cement mortar, which is one of the most useful materials for construction applications, can deteriorate its performance by developing cracks. In order to cope with this issue, the materials’ scientist came forward with a unique biogeochemical phenomenon in which cement mortar can selfheal its crack autonomously using calcium carbonate precipitating bacteria and their feed. In this research, it was intended to study the separate and combined effect of Bacillus Subtilis (bacteria) and Calcium Lactate (feed) on the properties of conventional mortar. Cement mortars were made using conventional method and cast in the form of cylinders. Four types of samples were taken. Sample-N contains only cement and sand, Sample-B was made by addition of bacteria Bacillus Subtilis with sand and cement, Sample-C contains Calcium Lactate which is usually used as feed for Bacteria while the last sample ‘BC’ have both Bacteria as well as Calcium Lactate. The samples were observed up to 44 days for their surface characteristics and compressive strength. The Sample-N and B did not show any remarkable change in their surface appearance with respect to curing time. Sample-C and BC did show the precipitation of CaCO3 but the Sample-C precipitation was stopped soon while for Sample-BC, the precipitation was continued for a longer time. The Sample-BC showed the highest compressive strength (approximately 17.57 MPa), followed by Sample-N (approximately 13.32 MPa), Sample-B (approximately 11.04 MPa) while Sample-C displayed lowest strength (approximately 2.75 MPa). This gives an idea that Calcium Lactate which acts as feed for bacteria has the negative effect on the strength if not consumed and converted into CaCO3.