OZR backup mandate: Elastic wave monitoring of cementitious materials with superabsorbent polymers to study the fundamental mechanisms of internal curing and self-healing.

Project Details


The use of superabsorbent polymers (SAPs) in cementitious materials provides a solution to the development of autogenous shrinkage by means of internal curing. However, the efficiency of a SAP to mitigate this type of shrinkage depends strongly on the onset of internal curing, being the moment of water release by the SAPs. A recent study has shown the relevance of acoustic emission (AE) to monitor the internal curing action in a non-destructive way, but the exact sources of the received emissions are still under discussion. The various mechanisms occurring upon desorption of the SAPs, such as the movement of the water and the SAP shrinkage, should be distinguished in order to pinpoint the effective period of water release. The detection of this period will allow to evaluate a SAPs efficiency for internal curing purpose. Additionally, the inclusion of SAPs improves the self-healing ability of cementitious mixtures. Using ultrasonic (US) testing, also an elastic wave measuring method, the closure of cracks can be confirmed. However, the ultimate goal is to obtain self-healing, being a regain in mechanical properties. The sensitivity of US waves to the elastic properties of materials suggests a quantification of the stiffness of formed healing products, which allows to predict the healing capacity in a non- destructive way. A combination with wave simulations will provide a better understanding of the self-healing mechanism and its influence on the propagation of elastic waves.
Effective start/end date1/10/2130/09/22


  • superabsorbent polymers
  • internat curing
  • Self-healing

Flemish discipline codes

  • Destructive and non-destructive testing of materials
  • Construction materials technology
  • Polymeric materials not elsewhere classified
  • Non-destructive testing, safety and diagnosis
  • Construction materials