MIT Technology Review

Self-Healing Concrete Uses Sunlight to Fix Its Own Cracks
MIT Technology Review

Even the tiniest cracks on the surfaces of concrete structures can lead to big problems if they aren’t immediately repaired. Now researchers have demonstrated a sunlight-induced, self-healing protective coating designed to fix cracks on the surface of concrete structures before they grow into larger ones that compromise structural integrity.

More resilient concrete structures like bridges and overpasses could save governments billions of dollars in annual expenses on repairs and maintenance. In recent years, a growing field of research has focused on developing self-healing mechanisms for a range of materials, concrete included. The authors of a new paper published in ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces say their demonstrated technology represents the first example of a self-healing protective coating for concrete.

The new coating contains polymer microcapsules, filled with a solution that, when exposed to light, turns into a water-resistant solid. The idea is that damage to a coated concrete surface would cause the capsules to break open and release the solution, which then would fill the crack and solidify in sunlight.

Du béton qui se répare lui-même grâce à la lumière du soleil. C’était mon clin d’oeil à la commission Charbonneau !