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Title: Micro- and nano-scale characterization to study the thermal degradation of cement-based materials

The degradation of hydration products of cement is known to cause changes in the micro- and nano-structure, which ultimately drive thermo-mechanical degradation of cement-based composite materials at elevated temperatures. However, a detailed characterization of these changes is still incomplete. This paper presents results of an extensive experimental study carried out to investigate micro- and nano-structural changes that occur due to exposure of cement paste to high temperatures. Following heat treatment of cement paste up to 1000 °C, damage states were studied by compressive strength test, thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), scanning electron microscopy (SEM) atomic force microscopy (AFM) and AFM image analysis. Using experimental results and research from existing literature, new degradation processes that drive the loss of mechanical properties of cement paste are proposed. The development of micro-cracks at the interface between unhydrated cement particles and paste matrix, a change in C–S–H nano-structure and shrinkage of C–S–H, are considered as important factors that cause the thermal degradation of cement paste. - Highlights: • The thermal degradation of hydration products of cement is characterized at micro- and nano-scale using scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and atomic force microscopy (AFM). • The interface between unhydrated cement particles and the paste matrix is considered themore » origin of micro-cracks. • When cement paste is exposed to temperatures above 300 ºC, the nano-structure of C-S-H becomes a more loosely packed globular structure, which could be indicative of C-S-H shrinkage.« less
Authors:
;
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22340363
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Materials Characterization; Journal Volume: 92; Other Information: Copyright (c) 2014 Elsevier Science B.V., Amsterdam, The Netherlands, All rights reserved.; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
36 MATERIALS SCIENCE; ATOMIC FORCE MICROSCOPY; CEMENTS; COMPOSITE MATERIALS; COMPRESSION STRENGTH; HEAT TREATMENTS; HYDRATION; NANOSTRUCTURES; PARTICLES; SCANNING ELECTRON MICROSCOPY; SHRINKAGE; THERMAL DEGRADATION; THERMAL GRAVIMETRIC ANALYSIS