Subscribe to our free daily newsletters
. 24/7 Space News .




Subscribe to our free daily newsletters



TECH SPACE
Rice explores cement's crystalline nature to boost concrete performance
by Staff Writers
Houston TX (SPX) Oct 04, 2016


This is a close-up view of an edge dislocation defect in a cement crystal simulation by scientists at Rice University. They analyzed the crystalline structure of calcium silicates used in cement to maximize the ability to fine-tune the material. Image courtesy Lei Tao/Multiscale Materials Laboratory. For a larger version of this image please go here.

Rice University scientists working to develop a deeper understanding of the world's most widely used man-made material, concrete, have detailed previously unexplored aspects that affect the energy required to make it and the greenhouse gases released.

The Rice laboratory of materials scientist Rouzbeh Shahsavari developed techniques to not only analyze but also see dislocations in dicalcium silicates (aka belite), a component of Portland cement, and detailed how each of five distinct types contributes to concrete's ease of manufacture and ultimate strength.

The lab's report appears this month in Cement and Concrete Research.

"Though belite is crystalline in nature, the crystals are so small and the material so amorphous that nobody has looked at them with the kind of analytical eye they deserve," Shahsavari said. But fine-tuning them for use in the cement that holds concrete together can help save energy, which in turn leads to a reduction in carbon emissions, he said.

"Putting an atomistic lens on the role of defects on the mechanics and water reactivity of belite crystals can provide new insights on how to modulate the grinding energy of cement clinkers and strength development of concrete," he said. "Both of these factors can significantly contribute to energy saving and reduced environmental footprints due to the use and manufacture of concrete."

Calcium silicates are a key ingredient in industrial clinkers, which are ground and mixed with water to make cement. Compared with tricalcium silicate, the more dominant ingredient in cement, belite can be produced at a much lower temperature.

This temperature is at least 100 degrees Celsius (212 degrees Fahrenheit) lower and makes belite an economical trade; however, it is harder to grind and reacts more slowly with water, which leads to delayed strength development in cement paste. Shahsavari said these issues have curbed the widespread use of belite-based cement in concrete, but his lab has adopted an approach that could bring change.

Belite crystals of calcium, silicon and oxygen mainly take one of two different forms, either monoclinic or orthorhombic, each of which behaves differently at the atomic level. Rice researchers subdivided those into five distinct polymorphic crystals. Through computer simulations and high-resolution electron microscopy, they determined one of the monoclinic forms, dubbed beta-C2S, is the most brittle and possibly the best-suited for cements requiring low-energy manufacture.

Shahsavari said the research provides new insight about the bottom-up engineering of materials that have the properties of cement.

"The physical understanding gained by our high-resolution electron microscopy images, the first of their kind for cement, combined with our atomistic-level computations, can put cement-based materials on equal footing with metallic systems and semiconductors in the emerging application of 'defect-engineering' to boost performance in manufacturability and functionality," he said. "We expect this will lead to energy savings and environmental benefits."

Co-authors of the paper are Rice alumna Lu Chen, now a structural engineer at Arup, and graduate student Lei Tao. The National Science Foundation supported the research. Supercomputers utilized in the research included the NSF-supported DAVinCI supercomputer, administered by Rice's Center for Research Computing and procured in a partnership with Rice's Ken Kennedy Institute for Information Technology, and resources supported by the National Institutes of Health, IBM, Cisco, Qlogic and Adaptive Computing.


Thanks for being here;
We need your help. The SpaceDaily news network continues to grow but revenues have never been harder to maintain.

With the rise of Ad Blockers, and Facebook - our traditional revenue sources via quality network advertising continues to decline. And unlike so many other news sites, we don't have a paywall - with those annoying usernames and passwords.

Our news coverage takes time and effort to publish 365 days a year.

If you find our news sites informative and useful then please consider becoming a regular supporter or for now make a one off contribution.

SpaceDaily Contributor
$5 Billed Once


credit card or paypal
SpaceDaily Monthly Supporter
$5 Billed Monthly


paypal only

.


Related Links
Rice University
Space Technology News - Applications and Research






Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Previous Report
TECH SPACE
Use of 'large open-ended pipe piles' could lead to lower-cost bridge construction
West Lafayette IN (SPX) Sep 28, 2016
Civil engineers at Purdue University are leading a project with the Indiana Department of Transportation to learn how to use a type of bridge pile often seen in offshore applications, research that could help reduce the cost of bridge building or replacement of aging spans. The piles will be used in the foundations of a bridge spanning the Wabash River near the Purdue campus on the eastbou ... read more


TECH SPACE
Exploration Team Shoots for the Moon with Water-Propelled Satellite

Space tourists eye $150mln Soyuz lunar flyby

Roscosmos to spend $7.5Mln studying issues of manned lunar missions

Lockheed Martin, NASA Ink Deal for SkyFire Infrared Lunar Discovery Satellite

TECH SPACE
MAHRS on Mars: Looking at Weather and Habitat on the Surface

Elon Musk envisions 'fun' trips to Mars colony

Elon Musk envisions 'fun' but dangerous trips to Mars

Pacamor Kubar Bearings awarded contract to support Mars 2020 Mission

TECH SPACE
Software star Google expected to flex hardware muscle

California dreamin' for Chinese investors in US

Yoyager's Golden Record not just for aliens anymore

Indian Space Organization Gears Up for First Multi-Orbit Mission

TECH SPACE
Tiangong-2 space lab enters preset orbit for docking with manned spacecraft

Batch production of Long March 5 underway

Chinese Space Lab Tiangong-2 Ready to Dock With Manned Spacecraft

Scientific experiment apparatuses on Tiangong-2 put into operation

TECH SPACE
NASA, JAXA Focus on Maximizing Scientific Output From Space Station

Manned launch of Soyuz MS-02 maybe postponed to Nov 1

Russia cancels manned space launch over 'technical' issues

US astronauts complete spacewalk for ISS maintenance

TECH SPACE
Arianespace to launch satellites for Australia and India with Ariane 5

Launch of Atlas V Rocket With WorldView-4 Satellite Postponed Till October

Rocket agreement marks countdown to New Zealand's first space launch

Parallel launch preparations put Ariane 5 on track for next launch

TECH SPACE
Protoplanetary Disk Around a Young Star Exhibits Spiral Structure

New Low-Mass Objects Could Help Refine Planetary Evolution

Pluto's heart sheds light on a possible buried ocean

Hubble Finds Planet Orbiting Pair of Stars

TECH SPACE
Use of 'large open-ended pipe piles' could lead to lower-cost bridge construction

Yes, the rumors are true! Brandeis really has a space chair

Levitating nanoparticle improves torque sensing in quest for quantum theory fundamentals

Apple teams with Deloitte to push deeper into work




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News






The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2017 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. All articles labeled "by Staff Writers" include reports supplied to Space Media Network by industry news wires, PR agencies, corporate press officers and the like. Such articles are individually curated and edited by Space Media Network staff on the basis of the report's information value to our industry and professional readership. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement