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Microfibres and hydrogels to promote autogenous healing in cementitious materials

Didier Snoeck (UGent) , Peter Dubruel (UGent) and Nele De Belie (UGent)
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Abstract
Cementitious materials are sensitive to crack formation and it would be beneficial if the material could stop the crack propagation, repair the damage and reach again the original liquid-tightness and/or strength. Therefore, a cementitious material with synthetic microfibres and superabsorbent polymers (SAPs) is proposed. Upon crack formation, the microfibres will become active and due to the bridging action, they will stop the opening of a crack, forcing the cementitious material to crack somewhere else. There, other fibres will become active. In this way, not one large crack, but several small healable cracks are formed. Further cement hydration and calcium carbonate precipitation will seal the crack if sufficient building blocks and water are present. The building blocks are available through the well-designed mixture with a low water-to-binder (W/B) ratio and water is available through the inclusion of SAPs. These polymers are able to extract moisture from the environment and to provide it to the cementitious matrix for autogenous healing. This healing will lead to the regain in mechanical properties. In this paper, the formed products are studied by means of optical and scanning electron microscopy. The healing efficiency was evaluated by reloading cracked and healed specimens and by comparing the new mechanical properties with the original properties. The crack width was limited to 50 μm at 1% strain. While specimens without SAPs showed a regain of mechanical properties of 40-55% in wet/dry cycles, specimens with SAPs showed a total regain of 80-95%. Even in humid air, those specimens show partial healing of 35-55%. SAP B, a cross-linked potassium salt polyacrylate, showed better healing properties compared to SAP A, a copolymer of acrylamide and sodium acrylate. The smart mate with SAP B thus is an excellent material to use in future building applications.
Keywords
self-healing, superabsorbent polymers, Concrete, self-sealing

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Chicago
Snoeck, Didier, Peter Dubruel, and Nele De Belie. 2013. “Microfibres and Hydrogels to Promote Autogenous Healing in Cementitious Materials.” In ICSHM 2013 : 4th International Conference on Self-healing Materials, ed. Nele De Belie, Sybrand van der Zwaag, Elke Gruyaert, Kim Van Tittelboom, and Brenda Debbaut, 17–20. Ghent, Belgium: Ghent University. Magnel Laboratory for Concrete Research.
APA
Snoeck, D., Dubruel, P., & De Belie, N. (2013). Microfibres and hydrogels to promote autogenous healing in cementitious materials. In Nele De Belie, S. van der Zwaag, E. Gruyaert, K. Van Tittelboom, & B. Debbaut (Eds.), ICSHM 2013 : 4th international conference on self-healing materials (pp. 17–20). Presented at the 4th International conference on Self-Healing Materials (ICSHM 2013), Ghent, Belgium: Ghent University. Magnel Laboratory for Concrete Research.
Vancouver
1.
Snoeck D, Dubruel P, De Belie N. Microfibres and hydrogels to promote autogenous healing in cementitious materials. In: De Belie N, van der Zwaag S, Gruyaert E, Van Tittelboom K, Debbaut B, editors. ICSHM 2013 : 4th international conference on self-healing materials. Ghent, Belgium: Ghent University. Magnel Laboratory for Concrete Research; 2013. p. 17–20.
MLA
Snoeck, Didier, Peter Dubruel, and Nele De Belie. “Microfibres and Hydrogels to Promote Autogenous Healing in Cementitious Materials.” ICSHM 2013 : 4th International Conference on Self-healing Materials. Ed. Nele De Belie et al. Ghent, Belgium: Ghent University. Magnel Laboratory for Concrete Research, 2013. 17–20. Print.
@inproceedings{5740904,
  abstract     = {Cementitious materials are sensitive to crack formation and it would be beneficial if the material could stop the crack propagation, repair the damage and reach again the original liquid-tightness and/or strength. Therefore, a cementitious material with synthetic microfibres and superabsorbent polymers (SAPs) is proposed. Upon crack formation, the microfibres will become active and due to the bridging action, they will stop the opening of a crack, forcing the cementitious material to crack somewhere else. There, other fibres will become active. In this way, not one large crack, but several small healable cracks are formed.
Further cement hydration and calcium carbonate precipitation will seal the crack if sufficient building blocks and water are present. The building blocks are available through the well-designed mixture with a low water-to-binder (W/B) ratio and water is available through the inclusion of SAPs. These polymers are able to extract moisture from the environment and to provide it to the cementitious matrix for autogenous healing. This healing will lead to the regain in mechanical properties.
In this paper, the formed products are studied by means of optical and scanning electron microscopy. The healing efficiency was evaluated by reloading cracked and healed specimens and by comparing the new mechanical properties with the original properties.
The crack width was limited to 50 μm at 1% strain. While specimens without SAPs showed a regain of mechanical properties of 40-55% in wet/dry cycles, specimens with SAPs showed a total regain of 80-95%. Even in humid air, those specimens show partial healing of 35-55%. SAP B, a cross-linked potassium salt polyacrylate, showed better healing properties compared to SAP A, a copolymer of acrylamide and sodium acrylate. The smart mate with SAP B thus is an excellent material to use in future building applications.},
  author       = {Snoeck, Didier and Dubruel, Peter and De Belie, Nele},
  booktitle    = {ICSHM 2013 : 4th international conference on self-healing materials},
  editor       = {De Belie, Nele and van der Zwaag, Sybrand and Gruyaert, Elke and Van Tittelboom, Kim and Debbaut, Brenda},
  isbn         = {9789082073706},
  keywords     = {self-healing,superabsorbent polymers,Concrete,self-sealing},
  language     = {eng},
  location     = {Ghent, Belgium},
  pages        = {17--20},
  publisher    = {Ghent University. Magnel Laboratory for Concrete Research},
  title        = {Microfibres and hydrogels to promote autogenous healing in cementitious materials},
  year         = {2013},
}