Georgia Tech researchers have developed “self-healing” concrete, and a way to monitor that healing process.
Self-healing happens due to a combination of mechanical blocking by particles carried into a crack, along with the filling of the crack by calcium carbonate deposits, derived from hydration products within the concrete itself.
Watch Concrete.TV’s video on self-healing concrete here.
The natural process can aid in closing relatively narrow dormant cracks.
Georgia Tech researchers have developed a technology that uses slag — a byproduct of steel manufacturing — to create concretes which will self-heal.
One application for such concrete is in piles that support bridges. When piles are driven into the ground, they may develop hairline cracks, said Kimberly Kurtis, professor of civil and environmental engineering at Georgia Tech.
Using ultrasonic sensors placed around the concrete crack, researchers can measure healing on a microscopic level, Kurtis said. The monitoring technology can catch structural damage early and prolong the life of bridges and buildings.
BY Urvaksh Karkaria
Georgia Tech’s Kimberly Kurtis