Effects of Self-Healing Concrete on Aging Concrete Structures
Can self-healing concrete reduce maintenance costs associated with concrete cracking, and as a result extend the service life of a structure?
Need and Benefit
Reclamation's aging infrastructure along with the challenge of budget constraints has created an opportunity to investigate concrete repair methods that will provide positive long lasting results. Currently, when repairs to critical infrastructure are performed we find that there are several challenges that affect the success of the repair activities. Specifically, those factors include the use of unskilled labor, unsatisfactory weather conditions, and limitations on sizes of repairs due to financial limitations. As a result of these factors and several others unsuccessful concrete repairs can undergo a short life span due to the development of cracks. These cracks will eventually lead to the deterioration of the repair area as water or debris enter the cracks and expand it to increase its susceptibility to freeze-thaw damage.
Concrete cracking and unsuccessful repair projects are not limited to The Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation) as the entire repair industry also faces this challenge. Experimentation and application of self-healing concrete technology has shown promise and the benefits include reduction in maintenance costs, increased durability, as well as the elimination of recurring repairs.
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