This paper presents an experimental study on use of hot-melt polyamide (HMP) to prepare mortar specimens with improved crack healing and engineering properties. The role of HMP in the crack repairing of cement mortar subjected to several rounds of heat treatment was investigated. Compatibility between HMP and hydraulic cement was investigated through X-ray diffraction (XRD) and Fourier transform infrared spectra (FTIR) technology. Mortar specimens were prepared using standard cement mortar mixes with HMP at 1%, 3% and 5% (by volume) for fine aggregate substitute. After curing for 28 days, HMP specimens were subjected to heating at temperature of 160 °C for one, two, and three days and then natural cooling down to ambient temperature. Mechanical and durability properties of the heated HMP mortars were evaluated and compared with those of the corresponding mortars without heating. The microscopic observation of the interfacial transition zone (ITZ) of HMP mortar was conducted through environmental scanning electron microscopy (ESEM). Results reveal that incorporation of HMP improves the workability of the HMP/cement binder while leading to decrease in compressive strength and durability. The heated HMP mortars after exposure to heating for one, two, and three days exhibit no obvious change in compressive strength while presenting notable increase in flexural strength and durability compared with the corresponding mortars without heating. The XRD, FTIR and ESEM analyses indicate that no obvious chemical reaction occurs between HMP and hydraulic cement, and thus the self-repairing for interfacial micro-crack in HMP/cement composite system is ascribed to the physical adhesion of HMP to cement matrix rather than the chemical bonding between them.
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