Smart Crack Control in Concrete through Use of Phase Change Materials (PCMs): A Review

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

56 Citations (Scopus)
116 Downloads (Pure)


Cracks in concrete structures present a threat to their durability. Therefore, numerous research studies have been devoted to reducing concrete cracking. In recent years, a new approach has been proposed for controlling temperature related cracking—utilization of phase change materials (PCMs) in concrete. Through their ability to capture heat, PCMs can offset temperature changes and reduce gradients in concrete structures. Nevertheless, they can also influence concrete properties. This paper presents a comprehensive overview of the literature devoted to using PCMs to control temperature related cracking in concrete. First, types of PCMs and ways of incorporation in concrete are discussed. Then, possible uses of PCMs in concrete technology are discussed. Further, the influences of PCMs on concrete properties (fresh, hardened, durability) are discussed in detail. This is followed by a discussion of modelling techniques for PCM-concrete composites and their performance. Finally, a summary and the possible research directions for future work are given. This overview aims to assure the researchers and asset owners of the potential of this maturing technology and bring it one step closer to practical application.
Original languageEnglish
Article number654
Number of pages31
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • concrete durability
  • smart concrete
  • phase change materials
  • microencapsulation
  • OA-Fund TU Delft


Dive into the research topics of 'Smart Crack Control in Concrete through Use of Phase Change Materials (PCMs): A Review'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this