Application of nanotechnology in construction materials

Wenzhong Zhu 

University of Paisley, Advanced Concrete and Masonary Centre (ACMC), Paisley PA1 2BE, United Kingdom


Fundamental understanding at the micro/nano-scale of the behaviour of construction materials and their interaction with the environment are required to better explain/control properties and degradation processes. Such information is also vital in the engineering and design of novel construction materials with specific performance characteristics in mind. Advances in the field of nanotechnology have increasingly offered tools to study and control the fundamental building blocks (i.e. atoms, molecules and nanostructures) of many materials (e.g. carbon nanotubes, nanocomposites, etc.), and thus could provide a systematic and cost effective means to develop superior construction materials.

In the first part of this paper, a general review of recent developments and activities of nanotechnology application relevant to construction materials is given. The likely impact and the future trend/potential of nanotechnology application in construction materials are discussed. The second part of the paper reports a current study on nano/micro-scale mapping of mechanical properties of construction materials, particularly cement and concrete. Depth-sensing micro/nano-indentation technique is used to investigate the mechanical properties of various phases (or micro/nano-scale features) and the interfacial bond between different materials.

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Presentation: invited oral at E-MRS Fall Meeting 2005, Symposium G, by Wenzhong Zhu
See On-line Journal of E-MRS Fall Meeting 2005

Submitted: 2005-05-31 07:38
Revised:   2009-06-07 00:44
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