New test measures the self-sealing qualities of concrete mixes
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The qualities of self-sealing concrete can now be proved with a test that has been granted a US patent.

Internal crystalline waterproofing affects the make-up of the concrete at a microscopic level
Above: Internal crystalline waterproofing affects the make-up of the concrete at a microscopic level

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 in British Columbia, Canada.

Kryton produces a range of concrete waterproofing products that incorporate its 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, according to the company.

The new test is used to prove and measure the self-sealing qualities of concrete mix. The patent approval confirms the robustness of the test, said the compay, therefore establishing a uniform way in which this property can be quantified. It can be used for any mix of concrete, including those that incorporate speciality admixtures.

“The test is important because it validates in the lab the self-sealing properties of concrete with a Kryton admixture,” said 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 said. “The ultimate goal of all my research is to make concrete structures that are stronger and more durable.”

Source One Environmental is the exclusive distributor of Kryton products in the UK & Ireland.