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Self-Healing Properties of Bioinspired Amorphous CaCO3/Polyphosphate-Supplemented Cement.

Molecules (Basel, Switzerland) (2020-05-23)
Emad Tolba, Shunfeng Wang, Xiaohong Wang, Meik Neufurth, Maximilian Ackermann, Rafael Muñoz-Espí, Bothaina M Abd El-Hady, Heinz C Schröder, Werner E G Müller
ABSTRACT

There is a strong interest in cement additives that are able to prevent or mitigate the adverse effects of cracks in concrete that cause corrosion of the reinforcement. Inorganic polyphosphate (polyP), a natural polymer that is synthesized by bacteria, even those on cement/concrete, can increase the resistance of concrete to progressive damage from micro-cracking. Here we use a novel bioinspired strategy based on polyP-stabilized amorphous calcium carbonate (ACC) to give this material self-healing properties. Portland cement was supplemented with ACC nanoparticles which were stabilized with 10% (w/w) Na-polyP. Embedding these particles in the hydrated cement resulted in the formation of calcite crystals after a hardening time of 10 days, which were not seen in controls, indicating that the particles dissolve and then transform into calcite. While there was no significant repair in the controls without ACC, almost complete closure of the cracks was observed after a 10 days healing period in the ACC-supplemented samples. Nanoindentation measurements on the self-healed crack surfaces showed a similar or slightly higher elasticity at a lower hardness compared to non-cracked surfaces. Our results demonstrate that bioinspired approaches, like the use of polyP-stabilized ACC shown here, can significantly improve the repair capacity of Portland cement.

MATERIALS
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Sigma-Aldrich
Calcium chloride dihydrate, ACS reagent, ≥99%