Self-healing of bio-cementitious mortar incubated within neutral and acidic soil
AffiliationUniversity of Derby
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AbstractThe efficiency of bio self-healing of pre-cracked mortar specimens incubated in sand was investigated. The investigation examined the effect of soil pH representing industrially recognised classes of exposure, ranging from no risk of chemical attack (neutral pH≈7) to very high risk (pH≈4.5). Simultaneously, the soil was subjected to fully and partially saturated cycles for 120 days to resemble groundwater-level fluctuation. Bacillus Subtilis with nutrients were impregnated into perlite and utilised as a bacterial healing agent. The healing agent was added to half of the mortar specimens for comparison purposes. Mineral precipitations were observed in both control and bio-mortar specimens, and the healing products were examined by SEM-EDX scanning. The healing ratio was evaluated by comparing (i) the repair rate of the crack area and (ii) by capillary water absorption and sorptivity index - before and after incubation. The results indicated that bacteria-doped specimens (bio-mortar) exhibited the most efficient crack-healing in all incubation conditions i.e. different chemical exposure classes. In the pH neutral soil, the average healing ratios for the control and bio-mortar specimens were 38% and 82%, respectively. However, the healing ratio decreased by 43% for specimens incubated in acidic soil (pH≈4) compared with specimens incubated in neutral soil (pH≈7). The study implies that bio self-healing is generally beneficial for concrete embedded within the soil; however, aggressive ground conditions can inhibit the healing process.
CitationEsaker, M., Hamza, O., Souid, A., and Elliott, D., (2021). 'Self-healing of bio-cementitious mortar incubated within neutral and acidic soil. Materials and Structures, 54(96), pp. 1-16.
PublisherSpringer Science and Business Media LLC
JournalMaterials and Structures