Evaluation of self-healing mechanisms in concrete with double-walled sodium silicate microcapsules

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The objective of this study is to evaluate a new generation of self-healing materials that hold promise for better durability and performance. The in situ polymerization method was used to develop double-walled microcapsules. The microcapsules were prepared in a single batch process containing sodium silicate as the healing agent encapsulated in double-walled polyurethane/urea-formaldehyde (PU/UF) microcapsules. Double-walled microcapsules provide enhanced durability at high temperatures compared with single-walled microcapsules while preserving adequate interfacial bonding of microcapsules. A parametric study was carried out to investigate the effect of different parameters such as agitation rate, pH, and temperature on the performance of the microcapsules and to determine the optimum microencapsulation procedure. The prepared microcapsules were then incorporated into self-healing concrete beams. To monitor the healing process of the cracks, microcracks were created by imposing a certain magnitude of displacement in the middle of the beams. The healing process of concrete specimens was monitored and quantified using portable ultrasonic nondestructive digital indicating tester (PUNDIT). Results showed that lower pH and higher agitation rate and curing temperature improve the formation of microcapsule shells. Measurements of ultrasonic wave transmission time through the concrete specimens containing different contents of microcapsules were analyzed to quantify the healing rate. It was found that the healing rate in concrete beams with 5% microcapsules was higher in the first week in comparison with specimen containing 2.5% of microcapsules.

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Journal of Materials in Civil Engineering

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