Evaluation of crack healing potential of cement mortar incorporated with blue-green microalgae

Srinivas, Karthick M. and Alengaram, Ubagaram Johnson and Ibrahim, Shaliza and Phang, Siew Moi and Vello, Vejeysri and Jun, Hew Kai and Alnahhal, Ahmed Mahmoud (2021) Evaluation of crack healing potential of cement mortar incorporated with blue-green microalgae. Journal of Building Engineering, 44. ISSN 2352-7102, DOI https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jobe.2021.102958.

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Microbial induced calcite (CaCO3) precipitation (MICP) is a biochemical process that induces calcite precipitation. MICP is considered a solution for remediation of concrete cracks using bio-mineralization. This study aims to use microalgae as an agent in the healing of micro-cracks. Microalgae were used in cement mortar to induce the formation of calcium carbonate to seal the cracks. Two microalgae species, namely Synechococcus elongatus (Syn. elongatus) and Spirulina platensis (S. platensis), were tested for their characteristics and then incorporated into the cement mortar. The specimens were cured under two different conditions, namely ambient and water curing. Next, the mechanical properties and crack healing of the cement mortar were examined. The cement mortars that were cured for 28 days in the air and water were subjected to a compressive load of 70% of its maximum threshold load, to induce micro-cracks. Subsequently, the specimens with pre-induced cracks were cured under ambient and water to check for the ability to seal cracks through bio-mineralization. The effect of replacing cement with 4, 8 and 12% of both species of microalgae were investigated. The results demonstrate that the mortars cured in water have a higher strength compared to the mortars cured in air. The investigation results also reveal that the mortars with S. platensis showed better strength and crack healing compared to mortars with Syn. elongatus. The water cured specimens with 12% S. platensis developed a compressive strength of 72% of the control specimen (100%), compared with 12% Syn. elongatus that exhibited only 36%. The healing potential was evident as the micro-camera images showed the narrowing of the induced cracks on the surface of the mortar after 14 days of water curing. Furthermore, the residual compressive strength of the biotically healed specimens showed 35% of the strength regain with 12% S. platensis as a cement replacement. The formation of crystalline calcium carbonate precipitates in the specimens with S. platensis and Syn. elongatus exhibits an increase in the derivatives of calcium ions; the enhancement in the strength of mortar due to the calcium carbonate (crystal) formation, which seals the surface of the crack, was supported by the SEM-EDS and XRD analysis. It was also found that the integration of microalgae into the cement had the effect of self-healing and could potentially improve the future direction of crack healing.

Item Type: Article
Funders: University of Malaya's Impact Oriented Interdisciplinary Research Grant titled 'Synthesis and Application of Bio Cement in Concrete Rehabilitation and Investigation on Effectiveness in Comparison with Existing Cement Replacement Techniques' IIRG016C-2019)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Microbial induced calcite (CaCO3); Precipitation (MICP); Crack healing; S. platensis; Syn. elongatus
Subjects: T Technology > TA Engineering (General). Civil engineering (General)
Divisions: Faculty of Engineering
Deputy Vice Chancellor (Research & Innovation) Office > Institute of Ocean and Earth Sciences
Depositing User: Ms Zaharah Ramly
Date Deposited: 06 Apr 2022 04:52
Last Modified: 06 Apr 2022 04:52
URI: http://eprints.um.edu.my/id/eprint/28669

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