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Lookup NU author(s): Dr Enrico Masoero
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC 4.0).
Gels of calcium-silicate-hydrates (C-S-H) are the glue that is largely responsible for the mechanical properties of cement. Despite their practical relevance, their nano-scale structure and mechanics are still mainly unexplored, because of the difficulties in characterizing them in a complex material like cement. We propose a colloidal model to investigate the gel mechanics emerging in the critical range of length-scales from several tens to hundreds of nanometers. We show that the size polydispersity of the hydrates and size-dependent effective interactions can explain the mechanical heterogeneities detected in nano-indentation experiments. We also show how these features control the arising of irreversible structural rearrangements under deformation, which are good candidates as nano-scale mechanisms underlying mechanical aging and slow structural relaxation in the gels.
Author(s): Masoero E, Del Gado E, Pellenq RJM, Yip S, Ulm F-J
Publication type: Article
Publication status: Published
Journal: Soft Matter
Print publication date: 21/01/2014
Online publication date: 01/11/2013
Acceptance date: 28/10/2013
Date deposited: 28/04/2016
ISSN (print): 1744-683X
ISSN (electronic): 1744-6848
Publisher: Royal Society of Chemistry
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