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Title: The influence of cellulose nanocrystals on the microstructure of cement paste

Source: Cement and Concrete Composites. Vol. 74: 164-173

Author(s)Cao, Yizheng; Tian, Nannan; Bahr, David; Zavattieri, Pablo D.; Youngblood, Jeffrey; Moon, Robert J.; Weiss, Jason

Publication Year: 2016  View PDF »

Category: Journal Articles
Associated Research Project(s):   FPL-4707-3B

Abstract: This paper reports the influence of raw and sonicated cellulose nanocrystals (CNCs) on the micro-structure of cement paste. A novel centrifugation method is designed to measure the concentrations of the adsorbed CNCs (aCNCs) on the cement surface, and the free CNCs (fCNCs) which are mobile in water. It is found that, the majority of the CNCs (>94%) are aCNCs. More importantly, sonication does not significantly reduce the amount of aCNCs (reduction of less than 2%). We surmise that, after sonication, the aCNCs are primarily dispersed over the cement surface, instead of becoming fCNCs via sonication. Isothermal calorimetry and energy-dispersive-x-ray spectroscopy (EDX) results support this theory. The water desorption tests show that the total porosities of cement paste with raw and sonicated CNCs are 14.8% and 14.4%, which show a reduction from 16% for the plain cement paste. The porosity reduction is a result of an increase in the degree of hydration. The advantage of sonicated CNCs is they are dispersed, avoiding therefore agglomerates that can lead to pores, voids, and air entrapment. The nanoindentation results show that the reduced indentation modulus on the interfacial regions between cement particles and the low density CSH is increased when CNCs are used.

Keywords: Cellulose nanocrystal; Cement; Agglomeration; Ultrasonication; Flexural strength; Nanoindentation

Publication Review Process: Formally Refereed

File size: 3,072 kb(s)

Date posted: 03/20/2017

This publication is also viewable on Treesearch:  view
RITS Product ID: 84278
Current FPL Scientist associated with this product
Moon, Robert J.
Materials Research Engineer
  

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