Research Topic

Resilient Self-Healing Construction Materials for the Future Built Environment

About this Research Topic

The structural integrity of all civil infrastructure is achieved with the utilization of individual elements which are designed to respond sufficiently when exposed to one or more mechanical or environmental actions. All the design codes and guidelines focus on how structures, comprised of individual elements, will be able to retain structural resilience when exposed to adverse effects. Particularly, reinforced concrete structures and infrastructure in coastal areas are exposed to aggressive environments and experience significant time-dependent durability problems. Typical defects in structures under high exposure conditions include excessive corrosion, accompanied by cracking and spalling of the concrete. Of course, not only concrete experiences durability issues; asphalt, steel, masonry structures and in some cases soil systems face problems associated to their exposure conditions.

The use of adaptive self-healing materials leads to an upgrade of the long-term performance of construction materials improving their structural integrity and service life under extremely aggressive exposure conditions as in the case of coastal areas. Pertaining concrete, the work to-date includes the development of special cementitious blends with improved autogenic actions, the use of alkaliphilic bacteria for sealing cracks, the development of polymeric microcapsules enveloping healing agents, the use of shape memory polymers for restraining and healing of cracks and the use of flow networks to deliver healing agents in damaged regions. Many challenges and research questions are still open. Published work usually considers self-healing under static conditions and it is not yet clear how dynamic conditions can affect the development and the evolution of healing processes in construction materials. Another issue is the repeatability of healing as well as to what extent we can engineer mechanisms that will function preventively to the upcoming damage rather than actively to repair it.

This Research Topic will address the latest advancements on self-healing construction materials: concrete, asphalt, steel, masonry, and soil systems. It aims at finding solutions on issues caused by the degradation of civil infrastructure assets, which not only burdens state budgets but also leads to increased carbon footprint. Additionally, this Research Topic will provide a platform for exchanging ideas, disseminating important advancements and share visions and concepts in the fast-evolving field of self-healing construction materials. Therefore, we welcome self-healing related submissions of research papers with novel data (both experimental and modelling) within, and not only limited to, the following subjects:

o Cement based composites
o Geomaterials
o Bitumen and asphalt concrete
o Structural steel
o Soils and soil cements
o Glass for structural applications
o Repair materials such as repair mortars
o Structural ceramics


Keywords: Resilient Infrastructures, Construction Materials Durability, Sustainable Construction Materials, Self-Healing Materials, Civil Infrastructures


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

The structural integrity of all civil infrastructure is achieved with the utilization of individual elements which are designed to respond sufficiently when exposed to one or more mechanical or environmental actions. All the design codes and guidelines focus on how structures, comprised of individual elements, will be able to retain structural resilience when exposed to adverse effects. Particularly, reinforced concrete structures and infrastructure in coastal areas are exposed to aggressive environments and experience significant time-dependent durability problems. Typical defects in structures under high exposure conditions include excessive corrosion, accompanied by cracking and spalling of the concrete. Of course, not only concrete experiences durability issues; asphalt, steel, masonry structures and in some cases soil systems face problems associated to their exposure conditions.

The use of adaptive self-healing materials leads to an upgrade of the long-term performance of construction materials improving their structural integrity and service life under extremely aggressive exposure conditions as in the case of coastal areas. Pertaining concrete, the work to-date includes the development of special cementitious blends with improved autogenic actions, the use of alkaliphilic bacteria for sealing cracks, the development of polymeric microcapsules enveloping healing agents, the use of shape memory polymers for restraining and healing of cracks and the use of flow networks to deliver healing agents in damaged regions. Many challenges and research questions are still open. Published work usually considers self-healing under static conditions and it is not yet clear how dynamic conditions can affect the development and the evolution of healing processes in construction materials. Another issue is the repeatability of healing as well as to what extent we can engineer mechanisms that will function preventively to the upcoming damage rather than actively to repair it.

This Research Topic will address the latest advancements on self-healing construction materials: concrete, asphalt, steel, masonry, and soil systems. It aims at finding solutions on issues caused by the degradation of civil infrastructure assets, which not only burdens state budgets but also leads to increased carbon footprint. Additionally, this Research Topic will provide a platform for exchanging ideas, disseminating important advancements and share visions and concepts in the fast-evolving field of self-healing construction materials. Therefore, we welcome self-healing related submissions of research papers with novel data (both experimental and modelling) within, and not only limited to, the following subjects:

o Cement based composites
o Geomaterials
o Bitumen and asphalt concrete
o Structural steel
o Soils and soil cements
o Glass for structural applications
o Repair materials such as repair mortars
o Structural ceramics


Keywords: Resilient Infrastructures, Construction Materials Durability, Sustainable Construction Materials, Self-Healing Materials, Civil Infrastructures


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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Submission Deadlines

06 October 2020 Abstract
15 December 2020 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

06 October 2020 Abstract
15 December 2020 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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