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Crack Mitigation in Concrete: Superabsorbent Polymers as Key to Success?

Magnel Laboratory for Concrete Research, Department of Structural Engineering, Faculty of Engineering and Architecture, Ghent University, Technologiepark Zwijnaarde 904, B-9052 Ghent, Belgium
Polymer Chemistry and Biomaterials Group, Department of Macromolecular and Organic Chemistry, Faculty of Sciences, Ghent University, Krijgslaan 281, B-9000 Ghent, Belgium
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Jorge de Brito
Materials 2017, 10(3), 237;
Received: 4 January 2017 / Revised: 7 February 2017 / Accepted: 20 February 2017 / Published: 28 February 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Self-Healing Concrete)
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. View Full-Text
Keywords: hydrogel; autogenous shrinkage; freeze-thaw resistance; self-sealing; self-healing hydrogel; autogenous shrinkage; freeze-thaw resistance; self-sealing; self-healing
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Mignon, A.; Snoeck, D.; Dubruel, P.; Van Vlierberghe, S.; De Belie, N. Crack Mitigation in Concrete: Superabsorbent Polymers as Key to Success? Materials 2017, 10, 237.

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