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Reversible water-swellable elastomers

Water-bearing pipe systems, especially in the sewage sector, often leak in practice. Usually these leaks are not noticed at all, or only when considerable damage has already occurred. The culprit is usually spatial displacement of pipe sections - the leaks then occur at the joints of the pipe sections, i.e. in the area of the seals.

This is where "self-repairing" sealing components come in handy: As long as the seal is dry, it remains in its original form. If a gap opens at the seam of the pipes and water enters, the volume there increases. This forces sealant into the new cavity. This approach sounds simple, but requires complex conceptual and constructive ideas for practical implementation. The destructive potential of asymmetrical pressure development is also problematic.

The TITK works on such problems, especially on the connection between the swelling capacity and the change in the material parameters of the elastomer.