Evaluation of the Self-Healing Ability of Mortar Mixtures Containing Superabsorbent Polymers and Nanosilica

Gerlinde Lefever, Didier Snoeck, Danny Van Hemelrijck, Dimitrios Angelis, Nele De Belie, Sandra Van Vlierberghe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

16 Citations (Scopus)
107 Downloads (Pure)


Addition of superabsorbent polymers (SAPs) to cementitious mixtures promotes the self-healing ability of the material. When cracking occurs; SAPs present inside the crack will swell upon contact with water and subsequently release this water to stimulate the further hydration of unhydrated cement particles and the calcium carbonate crystallization. However; the inclusion of SAPs affects the mechanical performance of the cementitious material by the creation of macro-pores as water is retracted from the swollen SAP. To counteract the reduction in strength, part of the cement is replaced by nanosilica. In this research, different mixtures containing either SAPs or nanosilica and a combination of both were made. The samples were subjected to wet-dry cycles simulating external conditions, and the self-healing efficiency was evaluated by means of the evolution in crack width, by optical measurements, and a water permeability test. In samples containing SAPs, an immediate sealing effect was observed and visual crack closure was noticed. The smaller influence on the mechanical properties and the good healing characteristics in mixtures containing both nanosilica and SAPs are promising as a future material for use in building applications.

Original languageEnglish
Article number380
Pages (from-to)1-14
Number of pages14
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2020


Dive into the research topics of 'Evaluation of the Self-Healing Ability of Mortar Mixtures Containing Superabsorbent Polymers and Nanosilica'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this