Enhancing self-healing of mortars by built-in crystallisation modifiers

Themes: Materials

Late lab scale demonstration

A TRL is a measure to indicate the matureness of a developing technology. When an innovative idea is discovered it is often not directly suitable for application. Usually such novel idea is subjected to further experimentation, testing and prototyping before it can be implemented. The image below shows how to read TRL’s to categorise the innovative ideas.

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Salts in building materials alternate between dissolved and crystalline state depending on environmental conditions and wet-dry cycles. These dissolution/crystallisation cycles cause aesthetic and/or material damage.


Crystallisation modifiers mixed in mortar alter the crystal form or location of crystallisation. These mortars with improved resistance to salt crystallisation damage can be used for renovation/restoration works in (historic) salt loaded masonry.


Lab scale proof of principle tests showed an increased durability of the additivated mortars to salt damage, without significant changes to fresh or hardened mortar properties which would limit their application.

Sanne Granneman MSc


Dr. Barbara Lubelli

Prof. ir. Rob van Hees