The european network of search in the field of the concrete and cement
16-09-15 - 18-09-15
19th Ibausil
Location: Weimar, DE
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Karen Scrivener elected Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering
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PhD Position in the field of cement chemistry

Empa/PSI, Switzerland

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Project 14


Organo Mineral composites


SIKA Technology AG, Switzerland 
Slovenian National Building and Civil Engineering Institute, Slovenia 
Université de Bourgogne, France 

Starting date:

March 1, 2006


State of the Art : Over the past decades, mechanical strength and durability of concrete have been increased by decreasing the porosity of the material. This has involved the introduction of efficient organic dispersants and considerations of the optimum packing of the different constituents of a concrete mix.
Objective and Innovation : A novel approach is proposed. It will consist of the molecular formation of hybrid organic-mineral compounds within concrete thanks to the collaboration of Sika. This will introduce cohesion forces among crystallites of hydrated cement phases which will be much longer range than the ones currently governing cohesion. If this can be achieved, the tensile strength of concrete may be drastically increased by the addition of only minor amounts of appropriately engineered organic compounds. This is extremely important for durability, since it is well established that the mechanical weakness of concrete in tension may lead to cracking, through which aggressive species may enter. This will also facilitate the introduction of multi-functionality into concrete by making smart use of engineered porosity. Input to this project will come from Project 5, C-S-H surfaces.



PhD Thesis [PDF]