Performance of modified self-healing concrete with calcium nitrate microencapsulation

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This study investigates the strength reduction associated with incorporating calcium nitrate microcapsules in concrete. It also proposes modifications to the calcium nitrate micro encapsulation procedure to minimize the concrete strength reduction. These modifications consist of altering the continuous phase composition and keeping that of the aqueous phase the same. Amounts of 1%–10% of low Hydrophilic-Lipophilic Balance (HLB) emulsifier and 0.1%–1.0% of oil-soluble sulfonic acid catalyst (by weight of water in the aqueous phase) were dissolved in an organic solvent to prepare the continuous phase. The average diameter and shell thickness of the produced microcapsules were characterized using Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM). Mortar mixes were prepared for various calcium nitrate concentrations of microcapsules that were encapsulated using the modified procedure. The compressive and flexural strengths and the elastic modulus of the mortar mixes were determined. The results show that the use of the modified encapsulation procedure resulted in a statically insignificant reduction of both compressive and flexural strengths compared to the original encapsulation method. The SEM micrographs of the fracture surface of the samples containing microcapsules showed that the strength reduction may be due to the agglomeration of the un-hydrated particles on the surface (shell) of the microcapsules. The compressive and flexural strengths of samples prepared using the proposed encapsulation procedure were enhanced compared to those prepared using previous encapsulation techniques.

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Construction and Building Materials

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