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Nano-scale mechanics of colloidal C-S-H gels

Masoero, Enrico, Del Gado, Emanuela, Pellenq, Roland J. -M., Yip, Sidney and Ulm, Franz-Josef 2014. Nano-scale mechanics of colloidal C-S-H gels. Soft Matter 10 (3) , pp. 491-499. 10.1039/c3sm51815a

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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.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Engineering
Publisher: Royal Society of Chemistry
ISSN: 1744-683X
Date of Acceptance: 28 October 2013
Last Modified: 06 Jan 2024 02:08

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