May 2016, Volume 10 Issue 2

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  • Review Article
    Konstantin SOBOLEV

    This paper reports on modern developments related to nanotechnology of cement and concrete. Recent advances in instrumentation and design of advanced nano-composite materials is discussed. New technological directions and historical milestones in nanoengineering and nanomodi?cation of cement-based materials are presented. It is concluded that there is a strong potential of nanotechnology to improve the performance of cement-based materials.

  • Research Article
    Emmanuel E. GDOUTOS,Maria S. KONSTA-GDOUTOS,Panagiotis A. DANOGLIDIS,Surendra P. SHAH

    Cementitious materials reinforced with well dispersed multiwall carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) and carbon nanofibers (CNFs) at the nanoscale were fabricated and tested. The MWCNTs and CNFs were dispersed by the application of ultrasonic energy and the use of a superplasticizer. Mechanical and fracture properties including flexural strength, Young’s modulus, flexural and fracture toughness were measured and compared with similarly processed reference cement based mixes without the nano-reinforcement. The MWCNTs and CNFs reinforced mortars exhibited superior properties demonstrated by a significant improvement in flexural strength (106%), Young’s modulus (95%), flexural toughness (105%), effective crack length (30%) and fracture toughness (120%).

  • Research Article
    Seyedhamed SADATI,Mehdi K. MORADLLO,Mohammad SHEKARCHI

    Enhancing service life of reinforced concrete (RC) structures located in marine environments is an issue of great interest for design engineers. The present research addresses the effect of surface coatings on service life of onshore RC structures. Long-term performance of concrete samples up to 88 months of exposure at natural marine environment was investigated. Two onshore exposure conditions, including soil and atmosphere and different types of concrete coatings were studied. Carbonation rates of up to 0.5 and 1.5 mm/year were observed at the first 88 months of exposure for soil and atmospheric samples, respectively. Surface chloride ion build-up and variation in chloride ion diffusion were monitored with respect to time, and service life was estimated. Based on the obtained results it is proposed to use the aliphatic acrylic and polyurethane coatings for enhancing the service life of concrete structures in the investigated exposure conditions.


    In the present work, silica nanoparticles (30-70nm) were supplemented into cement paste to study their influence on degree of hydration, porosity and formation of different type of calcium-silicate-hydrate (C-S-H) gel. As the hydration time proceeds, the degree of hydration reach to 76% in nano-modified cement paste whereas plain cement achieve up to 63% at 28 days. An influence of degree of hydration on the porosity was also determined. In plain cement paste, the capillary porosity at 1hr is ~48%, whereas in silica nanoparticles added cement is ~35 % only, it revealed that silica nanoparticles refines the pore structure due to accelerated hydration mechanism leading to denser microstructure. Similarly, increasing gel porosity reveals the formation of more C-S-H gel. Furthermore, C-S-H gel of different Ca/Si ratio in hydrated cement paste was quantified using X-ray diffractometer and thermogravimetry. The results show that in presence of silica nanoparticles, ~24% C-S-H (Ca/Si<1.0) forms, leading to the formation of polymerised and compact C-S-H. In case of plain cement this type of C-S-H was completely absent at 28 days. These studies reveal that the hydration mechanism of the cement can be tuned with the incorporation of silica nanoparticles and thus, producing more durable cementitious materials.

    Fengjuan LIU,Zhihui SUN

    In the present study, chemical mapping on the hydration process of cement paste with water-to-cement (w/c) ratio of 0.60 was implemented by Raman spectroscopy (RS). The RS was applied to study the paste from 12 hours after mixing to 28 days. Cement ingredients and hydration products, including calcium silicates (C3S and C2S), calcium hydroxide (CH), and ettringite, were quantitatively studied. From the research, it is observed that calcium silicates were consumed gradually with the increased hydration age. Calcium hydroxide increased and tended to cluster in the pore vicinity during hydration. Ettringite was found to form on the surface of the unreacted particles, which was shown as a mixed zone of ettringite and calcium silicates in the maps. It is concluded from the study that chemical mapping was an effective method to assist in visualizing particle dispersion and connection on top of the quantitative analysis.

    Ocar Aurelio MENDOZA REALES,William C.PEARL Jr,Maria D. M. PAIVA,CristianeR. MIRANDA,Romildo Dias TOLEDO FILHO

    This work studies the influence of a commercial dispersion of multi wall carbon nanotubes (MWCNT) on the hydration of a class G cement paste, at room and elevated down-hole temperatures. The MWCNT dispersion was produced with a solids concentration of 3.0 % by mass and an anionic surfactant as dispersing agent. Cement pastes with water-to-cement ratio of 0.45 and additions of solid MWCNT by mass of cement up to 0.50 % were studied. Isothermal calorimetry results showed a clear retardation of the hydration of cement caused by the surfactant contained in the MWCNT dispersion. Nevertheless, thermogravimetric evaluations showed that once the hydration reaction resumed, the retardation effect of the surfactant did not have a negative impact on the amount of hydration products precipitated. It was concluded that the commercial MWCNT dispersion presents a good potential to be applied in oil well cement pastes.


    In the present study, multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) were treated in an acidic mixture solution, made with nitric and sulfuric acids in a ratio of 3:1 by volume. The durations of the treatment were 100 and 180 min. The defects of these treated MWCNTs were examined using Raman spectroscopy. The attachment of hydroxyl functional groups to the walls of the MWCNTs were verified using FTIR spectroscopy. The dispersion of CNTs with acid treatment is assessed using UV-Vis spectroscopy and Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM). The results indicate that the duration of the acid treatment has significant effect on both the degree of defects and functionality of the MWCNT. The compressive strength of mortar increased with the addition of the acid-treated MWCNTs; however, no appreciable difference was noted for the two treatment durations under this study.


    A route for the in paste synthesis of TiO2 loaded cement is described. TiO2 sols are blended with fresh cement paste as an alternative process to add photocatalytic functionality to cement. The modification of cement paste structure after the addition of TiO2 sols is analyzed by XRD, SEM and TGA. As a particular microstructural feature, TiO2 containing calcium silicate hydrate (C-H-S) particles are identified as networking centers of a C-S-H gel fiber matrix. The increase of the TiO2 sol concentration induces a decrease of pore size and an increase in the specific surface area in the cement composites. The photocatalytic activity of the TiO2/cement system is evaluated from the degradation of Methylene Blue (MB) under UV irradiation, monitored through the absorbance at 665 nm. The results show that, although TiO2 phases reveal no long range order structure, the cement paste exothermal treatment in presence of hydrate products and alkaline conditions leads to a photocatalytic composite. Such new cement matrix may be twofold advantageous since it additionally promotes the formation of C-S-H gel, main determinant of cement mechanical properties.


    The rheology of concrete is best measured with the use of a rheometer. The slump flow test gives a good indication of the flowability of the mixture and is therefore still used extensively to judge the workability of SCC mixtures. However, this test presents some defects. The objective of this paper is to develop a new methodology for measuring the workability of a SCC. In this article, we have proposed a correlation between the plastic viscosity of concrete, the time and the characteristics of the flow final profile from the V-funnel coupled to a Plexiglas horizontal channel. The proposed approach, verified by experimental results, represents a simple, economical and usable tool on building site, and it allows to characterize rheologically the SCC from its flow. The comparison between our approach and the experimental values of the plastic viscosity shows that, in a laboratory or on site, instead of using a rheometer we can use our approach to characterize the rheological behavior of a SCC.

    Rao Arsalan KHUSHNOOD,Sajjad AHMAD,Luciana RESTUCCIA,Consuelo SPOTO,Pravin JAGDALE,Jean-Marc TULLIANI,Giuseppe Andrea FERRO

    In the present work, carbon nano/microparticles obtained by controlled pyrolysis of peanut (PS) and hazelnut (HS) shells are presented. These materials were characterized by Raman spectroscopy and field emission-scanning electron microscopy (FE-SEM). When added to cement paste, up to 1 wt%, these materials led to an increase of the cement matrix flexural strength and of toughness. Moreover, with respect to plain cement, the total increase in electromagnetic radiation shielding effect when adding 0.5 wt% of PS or HS in cement composites is much higher in comparison to the ones reported in the literature for CNTs used in the same content.


    Stress transfer between reinforcing bars and concrete is engaged through rib translation relative to concrete, and comprises longitudinal bond stresses and radial pressure. The radial pressure is equilibrated by hoop tension undertaken by the concrete cover. Owing to concrete’s poor tensile properties in terms of strength and deformability, the equilibrium is instantly released upon radial cracking of the cover along the anchorage with commensurate abrupt loss of the bond strength. Any improvement of the matrix tensile properties is expected to favorably affect bond in terms of strength, resilience to pullout slip, residual resistance and controlled slippage.The aim of this paper is to investigate the local bond of steel bars developed in adverse tensile stress conditions in the concrete cover. In the tests, the matrix comprises a novel, strain resilient cementitious composite (SRCC) reinforced with polypropylene fibers (PP) with the synergistic action of carbon nano-tubes (CNT). Local bond is developed over a short anchorage length occurring in the constant moment region of a four-point bending short beam. Parameters of investigation were the material structure (comprising a basic control mix, reinforced with CNTs and/or PP fibers) and the age of testing. Accompanying tests used to characterize the cementitious material were also conducted. The test results illustrate that all the benefits gained due to the synergy between PP fibers and CNTs in the matrix, namely the maintenance of the multi-cracking effect with time, the increased strength and deformability as well as the highly increased material toughness, were imparted in the recorded bond response. The local bond response curves thus obtained were marked by a resilient appearance exhibiting sustained strength up to large levels of controlled bar-slip; the elasto-plastic bond response envelope was a result of the confining synergistic effect of CNTs and the PP fibers, and it occurred even without bar yielding.


    In this experimental study, carbon nanotubes (CNTs) and carbon nanofibers (CNFs) were dispersed by intensive sonication in water in the presence of superplasticizer and subsequently mixed with Portland cement with water/cement ratios varying between 0.3 and 0.4. The autogenous shrinkage in the fresh stage was investigated. The CNTs and CNFs were characterized by high resolution scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and the hydrated pastes were studied by X-ray diffraction and SEM. The results showed a reduction of the autogenous shrinkage by 50% for pastes containing small amounts (0.01 wt%) of nanomaterials. Higher additions appeared to be less effective. The highest reduction of shrinkage was observed for carbon nanofibers which were long, rather straight and had diameters of around 200 nm. The result showed that the addition of nanomaterials accelerated the hydration processes especially in the early stages of hydration. The effect was the most pronounced in the case of functionalized nanotubes. The proposed mechanism resulting in the reduction of the autogenous shrinkage was a combination of nano-reinforcing effects, alterations of hydration and microstructure of the hydrated matrix.