Materials and Structures

, Volume 48, Issue 12, pp 4067–4076 | Cite as

Experimental investigation of self-healing behavior of bitumen/microcapsule composites by a modified beam on elastic foundation method

  • Jun-Feng Su
  • Jian Qiu
  • Erik Schlangen
  • Ying-Yuan Wang
Original Article


Bitumen self-healing has got an increased amount of attention and publicity in the last years. It has been found that microcapsules containing oily rejuvenator can be applied to enhance the self-healing ability of aged bitumen. The aim of this study is to propose a modified beam on elastic foundation (BOEF) method to analyze the self-healing of bitumen/microcapsule materials. Microcapsule samples were successfully fabricated with different mean sizes. These microcapsules retained their global shape with no cracks or thermal decomposition in hot bitumen. It means that the microcapsules can resist the thermal effects of asphalt for common applications. Fluorescence microscope morphologies analysis shows that microcapsules could be broken by microcrack; the liquid of rejuvenator leaked out from microcapsules and flowed into the microcrack. Because the self-healing behavior might be dependent on the size of crack, healing tests were carried out on specimens with different crack opening displacement (COD) levels. It was found that the BOEF beam was bending with visco-elastic property during the crack beginning propagation (COD between 0.2 and 0.4 mm). The size and content of microcapsules, temperature and time were considered as the parameters influencing the self-healing behaviors. When the mean size of microcapsules is not less than 15 µm, the healed sample could be recovered to its original load due to enough rejuvenator supplied by microcapsules. It is also found that the bitumen sample could recovery to its original load values after healing at sufficient time or sufficient high temperature due to the viscous healing.


Bitumen Microcapsules Self-healing Beam on elastic foundation Crack 


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Copyright information

© RILEM 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jun-Feng Su
    • 1
  • Jian Qiu
    • 2
  • Erik Schlangen
    • 2
  • Ying-Yuan Wang
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Polymer Materials, School of Materials Science and EngineeringTianjin Polytechnic UniversityTianjinChina
  2. 2.Department of Materials and Environment, Faculty of Civil Engineering & GeosciencesDelft University of TechnologyDelftThe Netherlands

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