Autogenous Healing of Early-Age Cracks in Cementitious Materials by Superabsorbent Polymers.
ABSTRACT: The effect of superabsorbent polymers (SAPs) on autogenous crack healing in cementitious materials with early-age cracking was investigated. SAP-containing samples exposed to wet/dry cycles showed better autogenous healing than those only exposed to wet conditions, as determined by water flow and compressive strength recovery tests. The water flow rates through cracks (380 ± 40 µm) in cement paste and cement mortar containing 1.0% SAP decreased by around 97.1-100% and 79.7-90.7%, respectively, after 14 cycles of healing compared to 1 cycle. Although the initial compressive strength decreased with SAP addition, it recovered somewhat after a 28-d healing period. Microscopy and spectroscopy results identified CaCO3 and/or calcium silicate hydrate (CSH) as the main healing products.
Project description:A recent advance in construction technology is the use of self-healing cementitious materials containing synthetic microfibers and superabsorbent polymers. By stimulating autogenous healing by means of superabsorbent polymers, cracks are closed and this will cause an increase in durability and service life. However, this improved healing capacity has not been quantified yet in terms of increased further hydration and volume of healing products. This is needed to model the material and to stimulate the practical application in constructions. This paper provides quantitative data, obtained by an NMR study. Addition of 1?m% of selected superabsorbent polymer versus cement to a cementitious material, stimulated further hydration with nearly 40% in comparison with a traditional cementitious material, if 1?h water contact per day was allowed. At 90% relative humidity, no healing was observed in reference samples. While the further hydration around a crack in specimens with superabsorbent polymers was still 68% of that of a reference system with cyclic water contact, due to the uptake of moisture by the superabsorbent polymers. As such, NMR results quantify the positive influence of superabsorbent polymers in terms of stimulated autogenous healing and substantiate their benefits for application in the construction area.
Project description:Addition of superabsorbent polymers (SAPs) to cementitious mixtures promotes the self-healing ability of the material. When cracking occurs; SAPs present inside the crack will swell upon contact with water and subsequently release this water to stimulate the further hydration of unhydrated cement particles and the calcium carbonate crystallization. However; the inclusion of SAPs affects the mechanical performance of the cementitious material by the creation of macro-pores as water is retracted from the swollen SAP. To counteract the reduction in strength, part of the cement is replaced by nanosilica. In this research, different mixtures containing either SAPs or nanosilica and a combination of both were made. The samples were subjected to wet-dry cycles simulating external conditions, and the self-healing efficiency was evaluated by means of the evolution in crack width, by optical measurements, and a water permeability test. In samples containing SAPs, an immediate sealing effect was observed and visual crack closure was noticed. The smaller influence on the mechanical properties and the good healing characteristics in mixtures containing both nanosilica and SAPs are promising as a future material for use in building applications.
Project description:Cracking is a major concern in building applications. Cracks may arise from shrinkage, freeze/thawing and/or structural stresses, amongst others. Several solutions can be found but superabsorbent polymers (SAPs) seem to be interesting to counteract these problems. At an early age, the absorbed water by the SAPs may be used to mitigate autogenous and plastic shrinkage. The formed macro pores may increase the freeze/thaw resistance. The swelling upon water ingress may seal a crack from intruding fluids and may regain the overall water-tightness. The latter water may promote autogenous healing. The use of superabsorbent polymers is thus very interesting. This review paper summarizes the current research and gives a critical note towards the use of superabsorbent polymers in cementitious materials.
Project description:To mitigate autogenous shrinkage in cementitious materials and simultaneously preserve the material's mechanical performance, superabsorbent polymers and nanosilica are included in the mixture design. The use of the specific additives influences both the hydration process and the hardened microstructure, while autogenous healing of cracks can be stimulated. These three stages are monitored by means of non-destructive testing, showing the sensitivity of elastic waves to the occurring phenomena. Whereas the action of the superabsorbent polymers was evidenced by acoustic emission, the use of ultrasound revealed the differences in the developed microstructure and the self-healing of cracks by a comparison with more commonly performed mechanical tests. The ability of NDT to determine these various features renders it a promising measuring method for future characterization of innovative cementitious materials.
Project description:Room-temperature ionic liquid (RTIL), which is a liquid salt at or below room temperature, shows peculiar physicochemical properties such as negligible vapor pressure and relatively-high ionic conductivity. In this investigation, we used six types of RTILs as a liquid material in the pretreatment process for scanning electron microscope (SEM) observation of hydrous superabsorbent polymer (SAP) particles. Very clear SEM images of the hydrous SAP particles were obtained if the neat RTILs were used for the pretreatment process. Of them, tri-n-butylmethylphosphonium dimethylphosphate ([P(4, 4, 4, 1)][DMP]) provided the best result. On the other hand, the surface morphology of the hydrous SAP particles pretreated with 1-ethyl-3-methylimidazolium tetrafluoroborate ([C2mim][BF4]) and 1-butyl-3-methylimidazolium tetrafluoroborate ([C4mim][BF4]) was damaged. The results of SEM observation and thermogravimetry analysis of the hydrous SAP pretreated with the RTILs strongly suggested that most water in the SAP particles are replaced with RTIL during the pretreatment process.
Project description:The ability of superabsorbent polymers (SAP) in drying maize and controlling aflatoxin contamination was studied under different temperatures, drying times and SAP-to-maize ratios. Temperature and drying time showed significant influence on the aflatoxin formation. SAP-to-maize ratios between 1:1 and 1:5 showed little or no aflatoxin contamination after drying to the optimal moisture content (MC) of 13 %, while for ratios 1:10 and 1:20, aflatoxin contamination was not well controlled due to the overall higher MC and drying time, which made these ratios unsuitable for the drying process. Results clearly show that temperature, frequency of SAP change, drying time and SAP-to-maize ratio influenced the drying rate and aflatoxin contamination. Furthermore, it was shown that SAP had good potential for grain drying and can be used iteratively, which can make this system an optimal solution to reduce aflatoxin contamination in maize, particular for developing countries and resource-lacking areas.
Project description:Crack formation in concrete is one of the main reasons for concrete degradation. Calcium alginate capsules containing biological self-healing agents for cementitious materials were studied for the self-healing of cement paste and mortars through in vitro characterizations such as healing agent survivability and retention, material stability, and biomineralization, followed by in situ self-healing observation in pre-cracked cement paste and mortar specimens. Our results showed that bacterial spores fully survived the encapsulation process and would not leach out during cement mixing. Encapsulated bacteria precipitated CaCO3 when exposed to water, oxygen, and calcium under alkaline conditions by releasing CO32- ions into the cement environment. Capsule rupture is not required for the initiation of the healing process, but exposure to the right conditions are. After 56 days of wet-dry cycles, the capsules resulted in flexural strength regain as high as 39.6% for the cement mortar and 32.5% for the cement paste specimens. Full crack closure was observed at 28 days for cement mortars with the healing agents. The self-healing system acted as a biological CO32- pump that can keep the bio-agents retained, protected, and active for up to 56 days of wet-dry incubation. This promising self-healing strategy requires further research and optimization.
Project description:We describe a simple micropump for disposable microfluidic devices. The pump is constructed using a freeze-dried disc of a superabsorbent polymer (SAP). The disc absorbs a solution in a flow channel and swells upward in a pumping chamber. Despite the simple structure of this device, the rate of absorption remains constant and can be adjusted by changing the composition of the SAP, its size, the dimensions of the flow channel and the medium to be absorbed. The pumping action can be initiated by applying an electrical signal using a switchable hydrophobic valve. The integrated approach of the SAP pump and switchable valve could facilitate the automatic processing of many solutions required for bioassay.
Project description:The main aim of this study was to evaluate the in vitro and in vivo efficiency of the polyaspartic acid- and acrylic acid-based superabsorbent polymer. The synthesized polymer was first investigated to check the blood compatibility by protein adsorption and blood clotting tests. Further, the GHK-Cu peptide was incorporated within the polymer and release studies were performed to evaluate the drug-delivery efficiency of the superabsorbent polymer. The polymer with best peptide release results were further used for in vivo analysis for wound healing. The healing efficiency of polymer with and without peptide was analyzed using wound closure, biochemical assay, histopathological, and toxicity studies.
Project description:In order to study the deterioration and mechanism of dry-wet cycles and sulfate attack on the performance of concrete in seaside and saline areas, the deterioration of compressive strength of concrete with different water cement ratios under different erosion environments (sodium sulfate soaking at room temperature and coupling of dry-wet cycling and sodium sulfate) was studied here. At the same time, ICT (industrial computed tomography) and NMR (nuclear magnetic resonance) techniques were used to analyze the internal pore structure of concrete under different erosion environments. The results show that the compressive strength under different erosion environments increases first and then decreases, and the dry-wet cycle accelerates the sulfate erosion. With the increase of dry and wet cycles, larger pores are filled with erosion products and developed into small pores in the early stage of erosion; in the later stage of erosion, the proportion of larger pores increases, and cracks occur inside the sample. In the process of sulfate soaking and erosion, the smaller pores in the concrete account for the majority. As the sulfate erosion continues, the T2 spectrum distribution curve gradually moves right, and the signal intensity of the larger pores increases.