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microcapsule-filled composite materials have been extensively used in recent years in a wide range of applications such as electrical components, aerospace components, automotive components, insulation for wire and cable, and in construction materials. the key benefits of microcapsules are low permeability, chemical inertness, rapid healing (short crack growth and recovery), and low encapsulant loadings. in this study, we have shown that the self-healing polymer microcapsules can be used to repair cracks in the exterior surfaces of concrete and asphalt. as most self-healing composites are brittle, our work provides a foundation for the investigation of self-healing properties for a wider range of polymer-matrix composites.
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this is a low-cost, easy-to-fabricate crack repair system that can be used for almost any type of road crack. a simple procedure of removing old concrete and a small amount of filler can do the job. the microcapsules can do the rest of the work.
the definition of a crack is a break in the material. a crack has a transition zone, which is a band of degraded material between the crack face and the zone of the material that is unaffected by the crack. the transition zone is defined as the depth from the crack face to the unaffected zone. the transition zone is an important parameter in the self-healing process because it is where the microcapsules rupture and release the catalyst. a higher transition zone is desirable to obtain the best crack repair.
the use of a polyurethane based adhesive to seal the cracks and microcapsules to the road surface was found to be effective for the repair of microscopic cracks. this is a simple and inexpensive technique that can be applied to most cracks.