Journal article Open Access

Self-healing characterization of UHPFRCC with crystalline admixture: Experimental assessment via multi-test/multi-parameter approach

Francesco Lo Monte; Liberato Ferrara

Within the framework of the Research Project ReSHEALience, new advanced Ultra High-Performance Fibre-Reinforced Cement Composites with enhanced durability, hereafter denoted as Ultra High Durability Concretes, are under investigation to characterize their tensile behaviour and durability performance in aggressive conditions, devoting particular attention to the phenomenon of self-healing. Three different mixes are under scrutiny, based on the combination of cement (CEM I or CEM III), slag, small aggregates (sand with a maximum size of 2 mm), and steel or metallic-alloy amorphous fibre. Self-healing capability has been investigated in aggressive environment (namely, under immersion in geothermal water) via 3 different test setups: (1) water permeability test on pre-cracked concrete disks, (2) 4-Point Bending Test – 4PBT on 100 × 100 × 500mm3 prismatic beam specimens and (3) on 25 × 100 × 500mm3 thin beams. In the case of beams, self-healing has been assessed via visual inspection of cracks trough digital microscope and via mechanical re-loading, so to investigate both crack-sealing capability and mechanical recovery. The results of this assessment aim at providing the starting point for a data base finalized at defining a design approach explicitly taking into account self-healing in the evaluation of structural durability. In particular, it has been observed as the adoption of strain-hardening cement composites significantly promotes self-healing phenomenon, thanks to smeared cracking in the tensile region and to consequent low values of crack opening. Self-healing proved to be very effective already after 1 month of curing.

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