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Open AccessArticle

Simulation-Aided Design of Tubular Polymeric Capsules for Self-Healing Concrete

Microlab, Faculty of Civil Engineering and Geosciences, Delft University of Technology, Stevinweg 1, 2628CN Delft, The Netherlands
Magnel Laboratory for Concrete Research, Department of Structural Engineering, Faculty of Engineering and Architecture, Ghent University, Technologiepark Zwijnaarde 904, 9052 Ghent, Belgium
Polymer Chemistry and Biomaterials Group, Department of Organic and Macromolecular Chemistry, Faculty of Sciences, Ghent University, Krijgslaan 281, Building S4-bis, 9000 Ghent, Belgium
Laboratory of Polymeric and Composite Materials (LPCM), Center of Innovation and Research in Materials and Polymers (CIRMAP), University of Mons, Place du Parc 23, B-7000 Mons, Belgium
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Jorge de Brito
Materials 2017, 10(1), 10;
Received: 15 November 2016 / Revised: 17 December 2016 / Accepted: 21 December 2016 / Published: 24 December 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Self-Healing Concrete)
Polymeric capsules can have an advantage over glass capsules used up to now as proof-of-concept carriers in self-healing concrete. They allow easier processing and afford the possibility to fine tune their mechanical properties. Out of the multiple requirements for capsules used in this context, the capability of rupturing when crossed by a crack in concrete of a typical size is one of the most relevant, as without it no healing agent is released into the crack. This study assessed the fitness of five types of polymeric capsules to fulfill this requirement by using a numerical model to screen the best performing ones and verifying their fitness with experimental methods. Capsules made of a specific type of poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA) were considered fit for the intended application, rupturing at average crack sizes of 69 and 128 μm, respectively for a wall thickness of ~0.3 and ~0.7 mm. Thicker walls were considered unfit, as they ruptured for crack sizes much higher than 100 μm. Other types of PMMA used and polylactic acid were equally unfit for the same reason. There was overall good fitting between model output and experimental results and an elongation at break of 1.5% is recommended regarding polymers for this application. View Full-Text
Keywords: polymers; capsules; self-healing; concrete; cracks; simulation polymers; capsules; self-healing; concrete; cracks; simulation
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Šavija, B.; Feiteira, J.; Araújo, M.; Chatrabhuti, S.; Raquez, J.-M.; Van Tittelboom, K.; Gruyaert, E.; De Belie, N.; Schlangen, E. Simulation-Aided Design of Tubular Polymeric Capsules for Self-Healing Concrete. Materials 2017, 10, 10.

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