• Development of high shrinkage Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET) shape memory polymer tendons for concrete crack closure

      Teall, O.R.; Pilegis, M.; Sweeney, John; Gough, Timothy D.; Thompson, Glen P.; Jefferson, A.; Lark, R.; Gardner, D. (2017-02-24)
      The shrinkage force exerted by restrained shape memory polymers can potentially be used to close cracks in structural concrete. This paper describes the physical processing and experimental work undertaken to develop high shrinkage die-drawn Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET) shape memory polymer tendons for use within a crack closure system. The extrusion and die-drawing procedure used to manufacture a series of PET tendon samples is described. The results from a set of restrained shrinkage tests, undertaken at differing activation temperatures, are also presented along with the mechanical properties of the most promising samples. The stress developed within the tendons is found to be related to the activation temperature, the cross-sectional area and to the draw rate used during manufacture. Comparisons with commercially-available PET strip samples used in previous research are made, demonstrating an increase in restrained shrinkage stress by a factor of two for manufactured PET filament samples.
    • A shape memory polymer concrete crack closure system activated by electrical current

      Teall, O.; Pilegis, M.; Davies, R.; Sweeney, John; Jefferson, T.; Lark, R.; Gardner, D. (2018-05-31)
      The presence of cracks has a negative impact on the durability of concrete by providing paths for corrosive materials to the embedded steel reinforcement. Cracks in concrete can be closed using shape memory polymers (SMP) which produce a compressive stress across the crack faces. This stress has been previously found to enhance the load recovery associated with autogenous selfhealing. This paper details the experiments undertaken to incorporate SMP tendons containing polyethylene terephthalate (PET) filaments into reinforced and unreinforced 500 × 100 × 100 mm structural concrete beam samples. These tendons are activated via an electrical supply using a nickelchrome resistance wire heating system. The set-up, methodology and results of restrained shrinkage stress and crack closure experiments are explained. Crack closure of up to 85% in unreinforced beams and 26%–39% in reinforced beams is measured using crack-mouth opening displacement, microscope and digital image correlation equipment. Conclusions are made as to the effectiveness of the system and its potential for application within industry.