Thursday, March 7, 2013

More Self Healing Concrete - This Time Using the Sun!




In an earlier blog post I wrote about self-healing concrete that contains microbes that activate when cracks appear and water penetrates the concrete. The breakthrough detailed below utilizes a specialized coating to protect concrete from water when cracks first occur.

Researchers have developed a range of microcapsule-based, self-healing systems in recent years. Generally, they consist of a “healing agent,” often a polymer paired with a catalyst. The systems are designed so that damage brings the healing agent, originally in solution, into contact with the catalyst, which causes the healing agent to solidify. But “there are limitations to this system,” says Chung, such as the availability and cost of the catalyst. Since sunlight induces the key reaction in his group’s new coating, it has the advantage of being “catalyst-free” and potentially inexpensive, he says. Chung says the polymer his group chose as a healing agent is attractive because it won’t freeze even in very low temperatures, and is considered environmentally friendly.


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James L. Salmon, Esq.
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