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Wednesday, 17 July 2019
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Raw materials & technologies, Technologies

Combining methacrylated alginate with acid monomers for concrete applications

Thursday, 8 September 2016

Polysaccharides, and especially alginate, can be useful for self-healing of cracks in concrete.

Alginates are refined from brown seaweeds. Source: public domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=32046

Alginates are refined from brown seaweeds. Source: public domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=32046

Instead of weak electrostatic bonds present within calcium alginate, covalent bonds, by methacrylation of the polysaccharides, will result in mechanically stronger superabsorbent polymers (SAPs).

Very limited effect on mortar strength

These methacrylated alginate chains as backbone are combined with two acrylic monomers in a varying molar fraction. These SAPs show a moisture uptake capacity up to 110% their own weight at a relative humidity of 95%, with a negligible hysteresis. The swelling capacity increased (up to 246 times its own weight) with a decreasing acrylic acid/2 acrylamido-2-methylpropane sulfonic acid ratio. The SAPs also showed a thermal stability up to 200 °C. Interestingly, the SAP composed of alginate and acrylic acid exerted a very limited decrease in compressive strength (up to 7% with addition of 1 wt% SAP) rendering this material interesting for the envisaged self-healing application.

The study is published in: Carbohydrate Polymers, Volume 155, 2 January 2017, Pages 448–455

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