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Sunday, 22 September 2019
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Raw materials & technologies, Technologies, Functional coatings

Keeping tiny cracks tiny

Wednesday, 27 February 2013

A new self-healing coating aims to repair superficial cracks before they become more serious. The idea is to prevent the spread of tiny cracks in concrete roads, bridges and other structures.

Self-healing coating prevents the spread of tiny cracks in concrete / Source: Bernd Sterzl, Pixelio

Self-healing coating prevents the spread of tiny cracks in concrete / Source: Bernd Sterzl, Pixelio

A team of Korean scientists promise the world’s first self-healing protective coating for cracks in concrete. The spray-applied, hydrophobic coating contains microcapsules loaded with a urea-formaldehyde polymer material that seals cracks. The act of cracking actually ruptures the microcapsules, releasing the healing agent. On the concrete surface, when a crack occurs in the substrate, the event ruptures the coatings' microcapsules, which release a healing agent that is solidified by sunlight.

Optical microscopy and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) confirmed the release and the filling response of the healing agent when applied to the surface of cellulose fiber-reinforced cement board or mortar.

According to the authors of the study, this self-healing coating is the first example of capsule-type photo-induced self-healing system, and offers the advantages of catalyst-free, environment-friendly, inexpensive, practical healing.

The study "Sunlight-Induced Self-Healing of a Microcapsule-Type Protective Coating” by Chan-Moon Chung and colleagues at Yonsei University and Korea Conformity Laboratory in Korea is published in ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces.

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