Self-sealing cementitious materials by using water-swelling rubber particles

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Water ingress into cracked concrete structures is a serious problem, as it can cause leakage and reinforcement corrosion and thus reduce functionality and safety of the structures. In this study, the application of water-swelling rubber particles for providing the cracked concrete a self-sealing function was developed. The feasibility of applying water-swelling rubber particles and the influence of incorporating water-swelling rubber particles on the mechanical properties of concrete was investigated. The self-sealing efficiency of water-swelling rubber particles with different content and particle size was quantified through a permeability test. The sealing effect of the water swelling rubber particles was monitored by X-ray computed tomography. The experimental results show that, by using 6% of these water swelling rubber particles as a replacement of aggregates in concrete, up to 64% and 61% decrease of water permeability was realized for 0.7 mm and 1.0 mm cracks. Furthermore, when the concrete cracks, the water swelling rubber particles can act as a crack bridging filler, preventing the crack from fully separating the specimens in two pieces.