New Research Could Lead to Stronger, More Durable Cement
New work by researchers in MIT’s Concrete Sustainability Hub has revealed that calcium-silicate-hydrate (C-S-H) particles in cement form at very diverse sizes, which leads to a denser, disorderly packing of the particles, corresponding with stronger cement.
One way to picture it is to imagine a box filled with different types and sizes of fruit. Small fruit such as grapes and berries will naturally fill in the smaller spaces between fruits such as apples and oranges, which will fill in the spaces between larger fruits such as melons and so on.
The researchers hope this new understanding of particle size diversity will allow materials scientists and concrete engineers to alter the C-S-H particles at the molecular level to develop stronger, more durable concrete with a reduced environmental footprint.
If concrete is stronger, less of it is needed. And if it’s more durable, structures made from it will last longer.