Brief 

Researchers in Italy and Spain have developed self-repairing concrete that is also ultra-resistant to damage. Pedro Serna, a researcher at the Institute of Concrete Science and Technology at Universitat Politecnica de Valencia, says the concrete incorporates “crystalline additives, alumina nanofibers and cellulose nanocrystals, which are capable of improving the ability of the material to repair i]#tself.

 

Insight

A team from the Universitat Politècnica de València (UPV) and the Politecnico di Milano has designed new ultra-resistant and self-repairing concrete materials. They have 30% more durability compared to conventional high-performance concrete in cracking situations. In the event of a crack, it is able to repair itself automatically thanks to the application of self-repairing techniques.

“These properties are possible mainly thanks to the design of the mixture and the use of components such as crystalline additives, alumina nanofibers and cellulose nanocrystals, which are capable of improving the ability of the material to repair itself”, says Pedro Serna, researcher of the Institute of Concrete Science and Technology (ICITECH) of the Universitat Politècnica de València.

Ultra-resistant and Self-repairing Concrete Materials
Another advantage of these new cementitious materials is the reduction of both ordinary and extraordinary maintenance work, being able to exceed the usual limits (50 years) of current design codes. As regards their applications, they are especially suitable for infrastructures subjected to extremely aggressive environments, such as constructions located in or near the sea, and for geothermal power plants as well.

“In this project we are demonstrating how the durability of cementitious materials becomes a characteristic that can be designed through the synergy between the composition of the material and the structural conception. We have designed and are testing new cementitious compounds with the capacity for structural self-repair in the cracking phase, which is the usual state faced by a reinforced concrete structure”, points out Marta Roig Flores, researcher at ICITECH.

 

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