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 New biomaterial could replace plastic laminates, greatly reduce pollution
21.09.2017 | Penn State

nachricht Stopping problem ice -- by cracking it
21.09.2017 | Norwegian University of Science and Technology

All articles from Materials Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: LaserTAB: More efficient and precise contacts thanks to human-robot collaboration

At the productronica trade fair in Munich this November, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be presenting Laser-Based Tape-Automated Bonding, LaserTAB for short. The experts from Aachen will be demonstrating how new battery cells and power electronics can be micro-welded more efficiently and precisely than ever before thanks to new optics and robot support.

Fraunhofer ILT from Aachen relies on a clever combination of robotics and a laser scanner with new optics as well as process monitoring, which it has developed...

Im Focus: The pyrenoid is a carbon-fixing liquid droplet

Plants and algae use the enzyme Rubisco to fix carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere and converting it into biomass. Algae have figured out a way to increase the efficiency of carbon fixation. They gather most of their Rubisco into a ball-shaped microcompartment called the pyrenoid, which they flood with a high local concentration of carbon dioxide. A team of scientists at Princeton University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University and the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry have unravelled the mysteries of how the pyrenoid is assembled. These insights can help to engineer crops that remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing more food.

A warming planet

Im Focus: Highly precise wiring in the Cerebral Cortex

Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.

The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...

Im Focus: Tiny lasers from a gallery of whispers

New technique promises tunable laser devices

Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...

Im Focus: Ultrafast snapshots of relaxing electrons in solids

Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!

When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

“Lasers in Composites Symposium” in Aachen – from Science to Application

19.09.2017 | Event News

I-ESA 2018 – Call for Papers

12.09.2017 | Event News

EMBO at Basel Life, a new conference on current and emerging life science research

06.09.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Fraunhofer ISE Pushes World Record for Multicrystalline Silicon Solar Cells to 22.3 Percent

25.09.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Usher syndrome: Gene therapy restores hearing and balance

25.09.2017 | Health and Medicine

An international team of physicists a coherent amplification effect in laser excited dielectrics

25.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>