The work of self-repairing concrete has taken place in various research groups around the world for a few years with varying results. At Luleå University of Technology Magdalena Rajczakowska has chosen to optimize the concrete's ingredients in a smart way and the results are very promising.
"After seven days you can see a crack healed," says Magdalena Rajczakowska, doctoral student in structural engineering at the university.
To start the self-healing process, only water is needed. A cracked concrete structure can be wetted for a few days or few weeks to repair itself.
"This is just the beginning of my PhD research and I have to understand the mechanism behind the process. The plan is to complete the project with full-scale tests," explains Magdalena Rajczakowska.
Cracks in concrete can occur, for example, due to bad design, loads or cold climate. Self-healing concrete can be a revolution in the construction industry enabling to reduced costs and elongate the life span of concrete structures which will enhance the sustainability.
"Concrete is a living material that can heal in the same way as the human body. We only need to strengthen this natural ability," says Andrzej Cwirzen, professor in Structural Engineering at Luleå University of Technology.