University of Cambridge > > Engineering Department Geotechnical Research Seminars > The effect of microcapsules for autonomic self-healing cementitious materials

The effect of microcapsules for autonomic self-healing cementitious materials

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Magdalena Charytoniuk.

Concrete, a composite material consisting of aggregates bound together with cement paste, is the most widely used construction material. The production of cement alone accounts for a significant amount of anthropogenic carbon-dioxide emissions and there is a real need to reduce cement consumption whilst creating more durable materials and structures.

Currently, concrete structures are maintained through continual, and costly, inspection and repair. Self-healing concrete offers an alternative to this existing paradigm by autonomously healing microscale damage as it arises. This is achieved through the addition of microencapsulated healing agents for autonomic self-healing concrete.

When cracking occurs, either due to mechanical damage or environmental exposure, the dispersed microcapsules fracture, subsequently releasing their encapsulated material into the crack volume. This material then has the ability to react with the environment to provide filling, sealing or healing of the crack.

In this work, microcapsules are added into cement, mortar and concrete. The effect of a varying proportion of microcapsules on fresh, hardened and self-healing properties is quantified. Results are presented from a large-scale self-healing concrete site trial; the first of its kind in the U.K. Recommendations are made for the further development of a commercial self-healing concrete using microcapsules.

This talk is part of the Engineering Department Geotechnical Research Seminars series.

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