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Advanced 3D printed mini-vascular network for self-healing concrete

De Nardi, Cristina, Gardner, Diane ORCID: and Jefferson, Anthony ORCID: 2021. Advanced 3D printed mini-vascular network for self-healing concrete. Presented at: Resilient Materials 4 Life 2020 (RM4L2020) International Conference, Online/Cardiff, 20-22 Sept 2021. Published in: Maddalena, Riccardo ORCID: and Wright-Syed, Muaaz eds. Proceedings Resilient Materials 4 Life 2020 (RM4L2020). Cardiff University, pp. 292-296.

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Following biomimetic design principles, several vascular network techniques have been studied over the last few decades. Promising vascular networks, using a variety of materials, have been proposed as a mechanism to achieve self-healing in concrete, however the advent of readily constructible structural elements that form part of the permanent works on a construction project has yet to be realised. Recent studies have focused on mini-vascular networks (MVNs); hollow channelled units formed using 3D printable polymers. These 3D tetrahedral units (so called TETs) have demonstrated the ability to respond efficiently to damage by releasing single-component, air-cured healing agents, stored inside the TETs. In order to make the MVN healing system more adaptable to different damage events and to overcome the potentially short shelf life of single-component healing agents, the design of the TETs has been improved. Ligaments are now formed from dual co-axial hollow channels (d�TETs) which allow the storage of bi-component healing agents. The system has given proof of good stability; the healing agents are activated only when the crack occurs, the action of which fractures the dual-channel ligaments and allows the polymerization process to occur. A range of healing agents, including epoxy resin, sodium silicate and nanolime have been explored, with encouraging initial results. The results showed the potential of d-TETs to adequately deliver the bi-component healing agents to zones of damage and allow sufficient reaction of the components in situ to achieve partial recovery of the undamaged flexural strength of the concrete.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Engineering
Publisher: Cardiff University
ISBN: 978-1-3999-0832-0
Funders: EPSRC
Date of Acceptance: 2021
Last Modified: 13 Jun 2023 16:39

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