Mitigating biofilm growth through the modification of concrete design and practice
Kurth, Jonah C.
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This project researched the fungal and bacterial communities (i.e. biofilms) found on concrete infrastructure in Georgia. Various microbial communities were sampled from four geographically separated sites. The species present in these biofilms were identified through DNA analysis and cultured for testing. A new, rapid test method was developed to accurately simulate field growth conditions in a laboratory environment. Using the newly developed test method, these communities were grown on small mortar tiles, which varied in w/cm, surface roughness, cement type (including photocatalytic cement), and supplementary cementing materials. This research determined that photocatalytic cement was the most effective in decreasing biofilm growth under artificial daylight, but did not increase or decrease growth when not exposed to light. The next most effective ways to decrease growth were lowering w/cm and decreasing surface roughness. The supplementary cementing materials examined did not increase or decrease biofilm growth.