Screening Encapsulated Polymeric Healing Agents for Carbonation-Exposed Self-Healing Concrete, Service Life Extension, and Environmental Benefit
By incorporating encapsulated polymers in concrete, cracks can be healed autonomously upon occurrence. This is of high value for steel reinforced concrete structures subject to carbonation-induced corrosion. This paper presents the results of a rapid colorimetric screening test to assess the carbonation resistance of self-healing concretes containing encapsulated polymer-based healing agents. Four systems were tested for inhibition of further carbonation near artificially induced cracks (width: 300 μm). Next, the time to steel depassivation was assessed probabilistically in comparison with cracked concrete. With an adequately working pressurized PU precursor, the concrete would remain repair-free for at least 100 years. Subsequent life cycle assessment in SimaPro showed a potential environmental benefit (72–78%) for the ten CML-IA baseline impact categories which is mainly due to the service life extension possible with a properly working self-healing concrete.
This research under the program SHE (Engineered Self-Healing materials), project ISHECO (Impact of Self-Healing Engineered materials on steel COrrosion of reinforced concrete) was funded by SIM (Strategic Initiative Materials in Flanders) and VLAIO (Flanders Innovation & Entrepreneurship). Their financial support as well as the one from the EU 7th Framework Program (FP7/2007–2013) under grant agreement n° 309451 (HEALCON) is gratefully acknowledged.
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