PNAS paper on the mesoscale texture of cement hydrates

Posted in EDG News

Our research on cement hydrate gels just appeared in PNAS early edition (collaboration with the MIT CSHub, University Pierre et Marie Curie, Aix-Marseille University, University of Newcastle and UCLA)

Calcium–silicate–hydrate (C–S–H) nanoscale gels are the main binding agent in cement and concrete, crucial for the strength and the long-term evolution of the material. Even more than the molecular structure, the C–S–H mesoscale amorphous texture over hundreds of nanometers plays a crucial role for material properties. We use a statistical physics framework for aggregating nanoparticles and numerical simulations to obtain a first, to our knowledge, quantitative model for such a complex material. The extensive comparison with experiments ranging from small-angle neutron scattering, SEM, adsorption/desorption of N2, and water to nanoindentation provides new fundamental insights into the microscopic origin of the properties measured.

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