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A survey on problems encountered in current concrete construction and the potential benefits of self-healing cementitious materials.

Gardner, Diane ORCID:, Lark, Robert ORCID:, Jefferson, Anthony ORCID: and Davies, Robert ORCID: 2018. A survey on problems encountered in current concrete construction and the potential benefits of self-healing cementitious materials. Case Studies in Construction Materials 8 , pp. 238-247. 10.1016/j.cscm.2018.02.002

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The annual costs for repair, maintenance and replacement of civil engineering infrastructure attracts significant expenditure in the UK. Anecdotal evidence suggests that a significant number of existing and new concrete structures suffer from repair and maintenance problems, but a lack of objective construction industry supported data concerning these problems makes it difficult to establish, with any certainty, the actual problems encountered in current concrete construction in the UK. To address this lack of data, a market research exercise was commissioned by the Materials for Life (M4L) EPSRC funded research project. The market research has shown that damage in the form of cracking in concrete structures was experienced by more clients, design team members and civil engineering contractors than any other problem. Structures requiring articulation and subject to dynamic loads such as bridges were noted as being the most vulnerable to damage, with this damage mostly occurring in the joints and half joints, bearings and the deck of such structures. The main consequential effects of damage in concrete structures were the need for the contractor to return for repairs as well as the need for regular monitoring. The current approaches taken to enhance a structure’s longevity mainly involve the use of additional cementitious material to improve the barrier between the environment and the steel reinforcement. However, an alternative could be to use the self-healing cementitious materials that have been proposed by the M4L research team. Until now there has been insufficient evidence regarding how these materials may be deployed in the construction industry, and the applications to which they may be best suited in terms of added-value. The market research results show that highways and infrastructure generally and water retaining structures would benefit most from self-healing cementitious materials, with reduced maintenance costs over a structure’s lifetime justifying a premium in the capital material cost. Reduced whole-life costs and fewer repair and maintenance interventions will have a significant influence on the economic, environmental and social impact of repair and maintenance events, which will be of benefit to the UK as a whole.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Engineering
Subjects: T Technology > TA Engineering (General). Civil engineering (General)
T Technology > TH Building construction
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 2214-5095
Funders: EPSRC
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 15 February 2018
Date of Acceptance: 2 February 2018
Last Modified: 02 May 2023 23:12

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