Materials and Structures

, Volume 49, Issue 7, pp 2509–2524 | Cite as

New insights into autogenous self-healing in cement paste based on nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) tests

  • Haoliang Huang
  • Guang Ye
  • Leo Pel
Original Article


The aim of this study is to investigate the effect of water migration from cracks into the bulk paste on autogenous self-healing. Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) technique was utilized to monitor water migration from cracks into the bulk paste during the process of autogenous self-healing. NMR results show that initially the water in the crack migrates into the bulk paste and the water content of the bulk paste increases significantly. However, after 5-h autogenous self-healing, the amount of non-chemically bound water in the bulk paste (adjacent to the crack surfaces) determined by NMR decreased instead. It indicates that some of the water coming from the crack was used for additional hydration of unhydrated cement particles in the bulk paste (during the process of autogenous self-healing). Before this study, in term of autogenous self-healing only the recoveries that related to the filling of cracks were concerned. The observation and quantification of densification of cement paste adjacent to the crack surfaces provides a new insight into autogenous self-healing.


Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) Autogenous self-healing Water migration Additional hydration Cement paste 



The authors would like to thank the National Basic Research Program of China (973 Program: 2011CB013800), National Nature Science Fund (51178104) and the China Scholarship Council (CSC) for the financial support. Mrs Jingping Han’s help on the NMR experiments is also appreciated.


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Copyright information

© RILEM 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Materials Science and EngineeringSoutheast UniversityNanjingChina
  2. 2.Department of Civil Engineering and GeoscienceDelft University of TechnologyDelftThe Netherlands
  3. 3.Department of Structural EngineeringGhent UniversityGhentBelguim
  4. 4.Department of Applied PhysicsEindhoven University of TechnologyEindhovenThe Netherlands

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