Ultrasonic evaluation of self-healing cementitious materials with superabsorbent polymers: Mortar vs. concrete

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The inclusion of superabsorbent polymers (SAPs) has become increasingly attractive to promote the self-healing
ability of cementitious materials, thereby reducing the costs related to manual repairs. To advocate the use of
these additives within large-scale constructions, an assessment of the self-healing ability is needed to ensure the
safety of infrastructures. A non-destructive evaluation method was found in the adoption of ultrasonic moni-
toring. Thanks to the sensitivity of ultrasound to the elastic properties, the technique allows to determine the self-
healing effectiveness and to compare the healing capacity between different mixtures. However, most studies
concerning ultrasonic assessments of the healing evolution were conducted on mortars, lacking large aggregates.
Therefore, to upgrade to the most commonly used construction material, self-healing of concrete is monitored,
and its performance is compared to mortar. Ultrasonic surface wave monitoring shows the potential to evaluate
the crack closure in either mixture and the effect of different SAPs included.
Original languageEnglish
Article number100112
Number of pages10
JournalDevelopments in the built environment
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors wish to thank the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) for the financial support through an OZR backup mandate (OZR3776). Also, we wish to express our gratitude to Mr. Guillaume Jeanson (SNF) and Dr. Alexander Assmann (BASF) for providing the SAPs under study.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 The Authors

Copyright 2022 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Cement
  • Self-healing
  • Ultrasound
  • Superabsorbent polymers (SAPs)
  • Hydrogel


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