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Self-Healing Cementitious Material System

A special issue of Materials (ISSN 1996-1944). This special issue belongs to the section "Construction and Building Materials".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (20 December 2023) | Viewed by 4250

Special Issue Editor

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Guest Editor
Faculty of Engineering, McMaster University, Hamilton, ON L8S 4L8, Canada
Interests: structural materials; concrete; masonry; self-healing; building science; accessibility; numerical methods; sustainability
* PEng FCSCE
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Modern concrete emerged in the late 19th century as a durable and maintenance-free construction material. Additionally, although cementitious materials were known to be susceptible to early age cracking and exhibit brittle behavior, reinforced concrete was used to build most of today’s civil infrastructure. The consequential result is a deteriorated infrastructure that is costing billions of dollars annually to repair or replace. Hence, the concept of self-healing cementitious materials has emerged as a viable solution to reduce the use of cement for rebuilding and thus enhance its sustainability by reducing its impact on the environment and economy.

Cement, intrinsically, can heal itself, but its crack healing capacity is limited to specific mixture compositions and environmental conditions. As a result, research efforts are now concentrated on autonomous self-healing where healing agents encapsulated in vessels or micro-capsules, that can be mechanically, thermally, or chemically triggered, are added to the cementitious mixture. However, for the encapsulation to protect the healing agents during mixing, placement, and curing, and to trigger and release the healing agents when the matrix cracks, the geometrical, mechanical, and chemical properties of the healing system should be compatible with the cementitious material. Moreover, the volume of added capsules or other vessels can adversely affect the mechanical properties of the material and efficacy of the healing system.

This Special Issue of Materials aims to showcase the state-of-the-art research, being analytical and experimental, on self-healing cementitious material design, testing, and application. The need exists for 1) test methods to evaluate the properties of the healing system and the efficacy of the self-healing cementitious system that is consistent and repeatable; 2) identifying the capsules/vessels and healing agents’ mechanical and chemical properties and corresponding values; 3) a methodology for designing self-healing cementitious system; and 4) small- and large-scale case studies to demonstrate the benefits and potential shortcomings of self-healing cementitious system. Researchers are invited to submit their work for publication in this Special Issue as a step towards ensuring the sustainability of cementitious material.

Prof. Dr. Samir Chidiac, PEng FCSCE
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • self-healing
  • cementing materials
  • concrete
  • mortar
  • healing agents
  • encapsulation
  • analytical modeling
  • test methods
  • design methodology

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

17 pages, 7979 KiB  
Article
Investigation into the Effects of Crystalline Admixtures and Coatings on the Properties of Self-Healing Concrete
by Ravi Kumar Shetiya, Sara Elhadad, Ali Salem, Attila Fülöp and Zoltan Orban
Materials 2024, 17(3), 767; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma17030767 - 05 Feb 2024
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 565
Abstract
One fascinating concept for enhancing the durability and lifespan of concrete buildings involves the use of self-healing concrete. This study focuses on the effect of crystalline admixtures and coatings on various properties of self-healing concrete and provides a comparison with traditional concrete. Four [...] Read more.
One fascinating concept for enhancing the durability and lifespan of concrete buildings involves the use of self-healing concrete. This study focuses on the effect of crystalline admixtures and coatings on various properties of self-healing concrete and provides a comparison with traditional concrete. Four different concrete mixtures were prepared to assess their effectiveness in bridging crack openings, their flexural and compressive strengths, and water absorption. Various testing methods, including destructive, semi-destructive, and non-destructive tests, were used in this research. The capacity of the mixes to repair themselves was assessed on the destroyed and semi-destroyed test specimens using crack-healing and microstructure testing. Additionally, all mixtures were also subjected to the slump cone test and air content test in order to investigate the characteristics of the concrete in its fresh state. The findings demonstrate that crystalline coating and admixture combinations have significant potential for healing concrete. The compressive and bending strengths of self-healing concrete mixtures were shown to be slightly higher compared to traditional concrete when the additive dose was increased. Self-healing concrete mixtures also exhibited much lower water absorption, a tightly packed and improved microstructure, and signs of healed gaps, all of which indicate greater durability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Self-Healing Cementitious Material System)
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15 pages, 4592 KiB  
Article
Microcapsule Triggering Mechanics in Cementitious Materials: A Modelling and Machine Learning Approach
by Evan John Ricketts, Lívia Ribeiro de Souza, Brubeck Lee Freeman, Anthony Jefferson and Abir Al-Tabbaa
Materials 2024, 17(3), 764; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma17030764 - 05 Feb 2024
Viewed by 527
Abstract
Self-healing cementitious materials containing microcapsules filled with healing agents can autonomously seal cracks and restore structural integrity. However, optimising the microcapsule mechanical properties to survive concrete mixing whilst still rupturing at the cracked interface to release the healing agent remains challenging. This study [...] Read more.
Self-healing cementitious materials containing microcapsules filled with healing agents can autonomously seal cracks and restore structural integrity. However, optimising the microcapsule mechanical properties to survive concrete mixing whilst still rupturing at the cracked interface to release the healing agent remains challenging. This study develops an integrated numerical modelling and machine learning approach for tailoring acrylate-based microcapsules for triggering within cementitious matrices. Microfluidics is first utilised to produce microcapsules with systematically varied shell thickness, strength, and cement compatibility. The capsules are characterised and simulated using a continuum damage mechanics model that is able to simulate cracking. A parametric study investigates the key microcapsule and interfacial properties governing shell rupture versus matrix failure. The simulation results are used to train an artificial neural network to rapidly predict the triggering behaviour based on capsule properties. The machine learning model produces design curves relating the microcapsule strength, toughness, and interfacial bond to its propensity for fracture. By combining advanced simulations and data science, the framework connects tailored microcapsule properties to their intended performance in complex cementitious environments for more robust self-healing concrete systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Self-Healing Cementitious Material System)
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21 pages, 8361 KiB  
Article
Probability Characteristics of a Crack Hitting Spherical Healing Agent Particles: Application to a Self-Healing Cementitious System
by Shannon Guo and Samir E. Chidiac
Materials 2022, 15(20), 7355; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma15207355 - 20 Oct 2022
Viewed by 1022
Abstract
A geometric model is developed to statistically study the probability characteristics of crack intersecting self-healing capsules with a structured random distribution in a cement paste mix. To evaluate the probability of a crack intersecting encapsulated particles, the fill ratio of the crack, and [...] Read more.
A geometric model is developed to statistically study the probability characteristics of crack intersecting self-healing capsules with a structured random distribution in a cement paste mix. To evaluate the probability of a crack intersecting encapsulated particles, the fill ratio of the crack, and the depth of the first-hit capsule, Monte Carlo simulations are performed. The variables are the crack geometry, i.e., width, length, depth, orientation, skewness, and so on; the size and mass fraction of healing capsules; and the agglomeration of capsules. Models based on statistical analyses for hit probability Ph, crack fill ratio Rf95 at 95% confidence level, and first hit depth h095 at 95% confidence level are expressed as functions of capsule size and mass fraction, as well as crack geometry. The model assumptions and results are evaluated using data reported in the literature. The data include results from experimental and theoretical studies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Self-Healing Cementitious Material System)
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19 pages, 2664 KiB  
Article
Performance of Capsules in Self-Healing Cementitious Material
by Mouna A. Reda and Samir E. Chidiac
Materials 2022, 15(20), 7302; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma15207302 - 19 Oct 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1532
Abstract
Encapsulation is a very promising technique that is being explored to enhance the autonomous self-healing of cementitious materials. However, its success requires the survival of self-healing capsules during mixing and placing conditions, while still trigger the release of a healing agent upon concrete [...] Read more.
Encapsulation is a very promising technique that is being explored to enhance the autonomous self-healing of cementitious materials. However, its success requires the survival of self-healing capsules during mixing and placing conditions, while still trigger the release of a healing agent upon concrete cracking. A review of the literature revealed discontinuities and inconsistencies in the design and performance evaluation of self-healing cementitious material. A finite element model was developed to study the compatibility requirements for the capsule and the cementing material properties while the cement undergoes volume change due to hydration and/or drying. The FE results have provided insights into the observed inconsistencies and the importance of having capsules’ mechanical and geometrical properties compatible with the cementitious matrix. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Self-Healing Cementitious Material System)
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