Water tightness of a concrete cover layer is important, as it is typically used as a protective coating of the steel reinforcement. Water tightness can be impaired by crack formation or by permeability. A bacteria-based lactate-derived healing agent (HA) can be added to concrete to enhance the potential for restoration of water tightness. Bacterial conversion of the included carbon source results in CO 2 production and subsequent CaCO 3 precipitation, similar to the mechanism of concrete carbonation. Carbonation is known to densify concrete, particularly when using ordinary Portland cement (OPC), but to a much lower extend in slag-based concrete (CEM III/B). To identify the effect of HA addition on concrete properties, this study focusses on the ingress of moisture in non-cracked concrete surfaces by assessing capillary water absorption. Surface properties were determined for sealed and unsealed surfaces of concrete-either based on OPC or CEM III/B-before and after curing under three different conditions: Dry, wet, or humid. HA addition to concrete containing slag cement generated a surface less prone to continued drying, but resulted in higher water absorption. In contrast, surface water absorption significantly decreased upon HA addition to OPC-based samples, independent of the curing regime. It is therefore concluded that HA in its current form is suitable for application in OPC, but less in CEM III/B-based mixtures.
Mors, R., & Jonkers, H. (2017). Effect on concrete surface water absorption upon addition of lactate derived agent. Coatings, 7(4). https://doi.org/10.3390/coatings7040051