Effect of autogenous crack self-healing on mechanical strength recovery of cement mortar under various environmental exposure

March 23, 2021

A. R. Suleiman (1), M. L. Nehdi (1)
Scientific Reports, 11, Issue 7245, March 2021. DOI: 10.1038/s41598-021-86596-2


While research on self-healing of cement-based materials has recently gained considerable attention and made sizable progress, there is still ongoing debate and controversy regarding the effect of crack closing induced by autogenous self-healing on mechanical strength recovery. Despite that several techniques have been used to capture and quantify the self-healing of surface cracks, the resulting effect on mechanical strength has not, to date, been explored and quantified in a rigorous and systematic manner. Therefore, in this study, a broad array of multi-scale techniques including non-destructive shear wave velocity, high-resolution X-ray computed tomography (µCT), and 3D image analysis was deployed to examine the effects of autogenous crack self-healing on the mechanical strength recovery in various mortar specimens. The influence of microstructural changes induced by additives such as swelling compounds, silica-based additions, and carbonating minerals on strength recovery under diverse environmental exposures was further explored. The results capture the relationship between the crack closing mechanism imparted by self-healing and mechanical strength recovery, therefore elucidating the discrepancies in mechanical strength recovery results reported in the open literature.

How Our Software Was Used

Dragonfly was used for CT data analysis and 3D reconstruction.

Author Affiliation

(1) Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Western University, London, ON, N6A 5B9, Canada.