Work Programme

The TRANSCEND work programme including modelling of water dynamics and experimental work providing input data to validate the modelling

The work programme is divided into three principal themes and fifteen projects for fifteen Early Stage Researchers.

  • Theme A
    Modelling of water dynamics in cement pastes.
  • Theme B
    Experimental work to provide input data to the modelling.
  • Theme C
    Experimental work to validate the modelling.

Theme A: modelling of water dynamics in cement pastes

Theme A comprises five projects that systematically build a theoretical understanding of water dynamics in cements and concretes at a hierarchy of length scales starting from atomistic (molecular dynamics, MD) simulations of water within the layered structure of C-S-H (nanometres) through to finite element models based on analytic differential equations in concrete (metres).

Two of the projects look particularly at the problems of adsorption /desorption and hysteresis, important as most concrete is subject to variable humidity conditions (rain, sun, etc)

Projects in theme A Modelling

Theme B: experimental work to provide input data to the modelling.

Theme B comprises 6 projects that build the experimental parameter data-base needed as input to the modelling developed in Theme A. Projects 6 and 7 develop the characterisation of materials and transport coefficients. Project 7 additionally provides a materials bank for other projects. Project 10 develops cryo-porometry as a new technique for the characterisation of water filling / emptying of nano-pores in cements. Project 8 characterises the morphology of C-S-H, including synthesised C-S-H much used as a test material. Project 11 maps micro-cracks in concrete using ion beam methods and develops as a tool for others to use. Likewise Project 9 develops and disseminates magnetic resonance methods.

Projects in theme B experimental

  • Project #'06' - Wetting and Drying Cycles – The Effect of Hysteresis on Transport

    1ESR; Host: Lund, Industrial Advisor: Heidelberg & Simco
    To experimentally determine water transport pathways, mechanisms and coefficients in cements, cement analogues and concretes to support the modelling theme, especially P 5.
  • Project #'07' - Porosity Characterisation

    1ESR; Host: EPFL, Industrial Advisor: Holcim & Intron
    To develop a materials databank and characterise the microstructure of the cementitious materials used within other research projects including quantification of solid phases, their distribution and porosity.
  • Project #'08' - Relationship between Composition, Structure and Morphology in C-S-H

    1 ESR; Host: Leeds, Industrial Advisor: Holcim
    To determine the morphology of C-S-H and whether links exist between composition, structure and morphology or whether it is only kinetically controlled.
  • Project #'09' - NMR Imaging and Relaxation Analysis

    1 ESR Host: Surrey, Industrial Advisor: Lafarge
    To provide the NMR relaxation and Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) data required to support the atomic level modelling (Ps 1, 2) and modelling of transport in cements and concretes (Ps 3, 4, 5).
  • Project #'10' - Cryoporometry Characterisation for Cement Based Materials

    1 ESR; Host: DTU, Industrial Advisor: Lafarge
    To (i) better understand water absorption / desorption hysteresis effects; (ii) create a new perspective on understanding C-S-H porosity and (iii) understand freezing behaviour of pore liquid in cementitious materials.
  • Project #'11' - Characterisation of μ-cracks in Concrete and Transport in Concrete

    1ESR; Host: UPC-Imperial College London, Industrial Advisor:  Sika
    To develop experimental techniques for the micro/nanoscale characterisation of cracks and phase distribution in mortar and concrete through 2D and 3D integrated in-situ imaging of physico-chemical tomography

Theme C: experimental work to validate the modelling.

Theme C comprises four projects that together validate the output at the different length scales of the modelling programme (Theme A). These projects are hosted by and conducted within the private sector partners by the industrial doctorate Early Stage Researchers to ensure high end-user relevance of the overall programme.

Projects in theme C validation