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Autogenous Self-Healing: A Better Solution for Concrete
Luleå University of Technology, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering, Structural and Fire Engineering.
Luleå University of Technology, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering, Structural and Fire Engineering.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-7279-6528
Luleå University of Technology, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering, Structural and Fire Engineering. Concrete Specialist, Skanska AB, Göteborg.
Luleå University of Technology, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering, Structural and Fire Engineering.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-6287-2240
2019 (English)In: Journal of materials in civil engineering, ISSN 0899-1561, E-ISSN 1943-5533, Vol. 31, no 9, article id 3119001Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Self-healing can be defined as the ability of a material to repair inner damage without any external intervention. In the case of concrete, the process can be autogenous, based on optimized mix composition, or autonomous, when using additionally incorporated capsules containing a healing agent and/or bacteria spores. The first process uses unhydrated cement particles as the healing material while the other utilizes a synthetic material or bacteria released into the crack from a broken capsule or activated through access of water and oxygen. The critical reviewing of both methods indicates that the autogenous self-healing is more efficient, more cost effective, safer, and easier to implement in full-scale applications. Nevertheless, a better understanding of the mechanism and factors affecting the effectiveness of the process is needed. The main weaknesses of the autonomous method were identified as loss of workability, worsened mechanical properties, low efficiency and low probability of the healing to occur, low survivability of the capsules and bacteria in harsh concrete environment, very high price, and lack of full-scale evaluation.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), 2019. Vol. 31, no 9, article id 3119001
National Category
Other Materials Engineering
Research subject
Building Materials
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-75206DOI: 10.1061/(ASCE)MT.1943-5533.0002764ISI: 000475694700023Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85067520596OAI: oai:DiVA.org:ltu-75206DiVA, id: diva2:1334728
Note

Validerad;2019;Nivå 2;2019-07-03 (svasva)

Available from: 2019-07-03 Created: 2019-07-03 Last updated: 2019-10-28Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Self-Healing Concrete
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Self-Healing Concrete
2019 (English)Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Alternative title[sv]
Självläkande Betong
Abstract [en]

Concrete is a brittle material prone to cracking due to its low tensile strength. Crack repairs are not only expensive and time-consuming but also increase the carbon footprint. Designing a novel concrete material possessing the ability to self-repair cracks would enhance its sustainability. Self-healing can be defined as a material’s ability to repair inner damage without any external intervention. In the case of concrete, the process can be autogenous, based on an optimized mix composition, or autonomous, when additional capsules containing some healing agent and/or bacteria spores are incorporated into the binder matrix. The first process uses unhydrated cement particles as the healing material while the other utilizes a synthetic material or bacteria precipitating calcite which are released into the crack from a broken capsule or activated by access to water and oxygen. The main disadvantages of the autonomous method are the loss of the fresh concrete workability, worsened mechanical properties, low efficiency, low survivability of the capsules and bacteria during mixing and the very high price. On the other hand, the autogenous self-healing was found to be more efficient, more cost effective, safer, and easier to implement in full-scale applications. Knowledge related to mechanisms and key factors controlling the autogenous self-healing is rather limited. Therefore, the aim of this research work was to better understand the autogenous self-healing process of concrete and to optimize the mix design and exposure conditions to maximize its efficiency. This licentiate thesis summarizes the main findings of the first 2.5 years of the PhD project. Several factors affecting autogenous self-healing were studied, including the amount of unhydrated cement, mix composition, age of material, self-healing duration and exposure conditions. The process was investigated both externally, at the surface, and deeper inside of the crack, by evaluating the crack closure and chemical composition of formed self-healing products. In addition, the flexural strength recovery was also studied. It was observed that a large amount of cement in the concrete mix does not ensure an efficient autogenous self-healing of cracks. A very dense and impermeable binder microstructure limited the transport of calcium and silicone ions to the crack and diminished the precipitation of the healing products. Addition fly ash increased the crack closure ratio close to the crack mouth, but its presence did not support the recovery of the flexural strength, presumably due to a very limited formation of load bearing phases inside the crack. Calcium carbonate was detected mainly at the crack mouth, whereas calcium silicate hydrate (C-S-H) and ettringite were found deeper inside the crack. The formation of C-S-H and ettringite presumably resulted in a regain of the flexural strength. On the other hand, calcite crystals formed close to the surface of the specimen controlled conditions inside the crack through its external closure. Healing exposure based on pure water appeared to be inefficient even despite the application of different temperature cycles and water volumes. The application of a phosphate-based retarding admixture in the curing water resulted in the highest self-healing efficiency. The admixture presumably inhibited the formation of a dense hydration shell on the surface of the unhydrated cement grains and promoted the precipitation of calcium phosphate compounds inside the crack. In addition, water mixed with microsilica particles caused a regain of the flexural strength through formation of C-S-H in the crack.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Luleå tekniska universitet, 2019
Series
Licentiate thesis / Luleå University of Technology, ISSN 1402-1757
Keywords
cementitious materials, self-healing, exposure, fly ash, calcite, C-S-H, cracking
National Category
Engineering and Technology Other Materials Engineering
Research subject
Building Materials
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-76527 (URN)978-91-7790-490-8 (ISBN)978-91-7790-491-5 (ISBN)
Presentation
2019-12-12, C305, University of Technology, Luleå, 08:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Funder
Svenska Byggbranschens Utvecklingsfond (SBUF)Swedish Transport Administration
Available from: 2019-10-28 Created: 2019-10-28 Last updated: 2019-11-27Bibliographically approved

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Rajczakowska, MagdalenaHabermehl-Cwirzen, KarinHedlund, HansCwirzen, Andrzej

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