Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Basque Country University researcher studies atom to atom cement

09.02.2010
The PhD thesis by Mr Hegoi Manzano Moro at the University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU), entitled Atomistic simulation studies of cement components, aimed to provide an answer to these questions and to understand the properties and characteristics of the components of the material.

When cement powder is mixed with water, a series of complex chemical reactions and physical changes takes place. The final result – cement paste – is a complex, multi-component material with a variable and porous composition. Cement is, moreover, a “live” material – throughout its life, even dozens of years after hardening, its structure continues evolving, undergoing physical and chemical changes.

Amongst the different components of the cement matrix, the most important is undoubtedly that known as C-S-H gel. C-S-H gel, acronym for calcium silicate hydrate, represents 70% of the matrix and is mainly responsible for the cohesion and mechanical properties of the material. Nevertheless, despite its importance, many aspects of the gel, including its exact composition, are still unknown.

Simulation at an atomic scale

The application of the atomistic simulation enabled Mr Manzano to understand the properties and characteristics of this gel. The atomistic simulation methods enable the properties and the behaviour of the materials to be studied at a level of the interactions amongst the atoms making them up. Knowledge of cement at an atomic scale will facilitate the design of modifications that will enhance performances and properties

After four years of research, Mr Manzano has found, amongst other things, that there is a clear relation between the mechanical properties of C-S-H gel and the internal structure of the nanoparticles that it is made of. C-S-H gel is made up of colloidal nanoparticles that aggregate in various ways in order to make the material. The manner in which these nanoparticles are ordered amongst each other is probable the factor that most influences the mechanical properties of the cement. The closer together they are and the less space between them there is, the more dense is the C-S-H gel and the better its mechanical properties. But this is not the only factor to be taken into account. The internal structure of each one of these particles also affects the total.

Each particle is formed by laminas of calcium oxide surrounded by chains of silicates of various lengths. We have shown that, the longer these silicate chains, the individual properties of each particle improve and, at the same time, the overall qualities of the C-S-H gel are improved. Based on these results, Mr Manzano concluded that the mechanical properties of the cement can be enhanced by 30% if, during its hydration, the formation of longer silicate chains and more compact C-S-H gels is boosted. An improvement of this magnitude would have great impact on the cement industry which, in 2008, produced almost 3,000 million tons of cement. An enhancement of 30% in the mechanical properties implies approximately 30% less cement in order to achieve the same resistance in a building. Thus, the production of cement is reduced and, as a consequence, emissions of CO2 to the atmosphere likewise.

Despite the research already carried out, there are still many aspects of cement to be studied, in order to achieve improvements in the material that will have an impact on a sector as important as construction.

Amaia Portugal | alfa
Further information:
http://www.basqueresearch.com/berria_irakurri.asp?Berri_Kod=2552&hizk=I

More articles from Materials Sciences:

nachricht A new tool for discovering nanoporous materials
23.05.2017 | Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne

nachricht Did you know that packaging is becoming intelligent through flash systems?
23.05.2017 | Heraeus Noblelight GmbH

All articles from Materials Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: A quantum walk of photons

Physicists from the University of Würzburg are capable of generating identical looking single light particles at the push of a button. Two new studies now demonstrate the potential this method holds.

The quantum computer has fuelled the imagination of scientists for decades: It is based on fundamentally different phenomena than a conventional computer....

Im Focus: Turmoil in sluggish electrons’ existence

An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.

We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...

Im Focus: Wafer-thin Magnetic Materials Developed for Future Quantum Technologies

Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.

Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...

Im Focus: World's thinnest hologram paves path to new 3-D world

Nano-hologram paves way for integration of 3-D holography into everyday electronics

An Australian-Chinese research team has created the world's thinnest hologram, paving the way towards the integration of 3D holography into everyday...

Im Focus: Using graphene to create quantum bits

In the race to produce a quantum computer, a number of projects are seeking a way to create quantum bits -- or qubits -- that are stable, meaning they are not much affected by changes in their environment. This normally needs highly nonlinear non-dissipative elements capable of functioning at very low temperatures.

In pursuit of this goal, researchers at EPFL's Laboratory of Photonics and Quantum Measurements LPQM (STI/SB), have investigated a nonlinear graphene-based...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Marine Conservation: IASS Contributes to UN Ocean Conference in New York on 5-9 June

24.05.2017 | Event News

AWK Aachen Machine Tool Colloquium 2017: Internet of Production for Agile Enterprises

23.05.2017 | Event News

Dortmund MST Conference presents Individualized Healthcare Solutions with micro and nanotechnology

22.05.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Physicists discover mechanism behind granular capillary effect

24.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Measured for the first time: Direction of light waves changed by quantum effect

24.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Marine Conservation: IASS Contributes to UN Ocean Conference in New York on 5-9 June

24.05.2017 | Event News

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>