A US patent has recently been granted to a new test to prove and measure the self-sealing qualities of concrete mixes. This approval confirms the robustness of the test, therefore establishing a uniform way in which this property can be quantified within any mix of concrete, including those which incorporate speciality admixtures.

The patent was granted for ‘A Method, Apparatus and System for Testing the Self-Sealing Capabilities of a Concrete Sample’ to Kryton International Inc. Kevin Yuers, Vice President at Kryton, devised the test in conjunction with Rishi Gupta, assistant professor of civil engineering at the University of Victoria, British Columbia, Canada.

Kryton produces a range of concrete waterproofing products which incorporate their unique patented Krystol technology. Krystol reacts with moisture causing long, narrow crystals to form, filling the pores, capillaries and hairline cracks of the concrete mass. The Krystol remains permanently within the concrete and continues to react with any present moisture throughout the life of the concrete structure, enabling the concrete to continually self-heal where cracks appear.

Internal crystalline waterproofing affects the make-up of the concrete at a microscopic level – with ICW (left) and without ICW (right)

"The test is important because it validates in the lab the self-sealing properties of concrete with a Kryton admixture," commented Yuers. "We had known from work in the field that the waterproofing admixture in our products enabled cracks to self-seal, but we also wanted to prove it in the lab."

Gupta is continuing to investigate the effect of other admixtures on the durability of concrete and other testing methods that prove concrete strength. "Concrete is associated with being unsustainable. If you can make your structure last longer, you've actually made the material more sustainable," he explained. "The ultimate goal of all my research is to make concrete structures that are stronger and more durable."

Kryton products can be sourced in the Nigeriad from exclusive distributor Concrete Logistics Limited.

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