282 research outputs found

    Recent studies of cements and concretes by synchrotron radiation crystallographic and cognate methods

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    The portfolio of available synchrotron radiation techniques is increasing notably for cements and pastes. Furthermore, sometimes the terminology is confusing and an overall picture highlighting similarities and differences of related techniques was lacking. Therefore, the main objective of this work is to review recent advances in synchrotron techniques providing a comprehensive overview. This work is not intended to gather all publications in cement chemistry but to give a unified picture through selected examples. Crystallographic techniques are used for structure determination, quantitative phase analyses and microstructure characterization. These studies are not only carried out in standard conditions but synchrotron techniques are especially suited to non-ambient conditions: high temperatures and pressures, hydration, etc., and combinations. Related crystallographic techniques, like Pair Distribution Function, are being used for the analysis of ill-crystalline phase(s). Furthermore, crystallographic tools are also employed in imaging techniques including scanning diffraction microscopy and tomography and coherent diffraction imaging. Other synchrotron techniques are also reviewed including X-rays absorption spectroscopy for local structure and speciation characterizations; small angle X-ray scattering for microstructure analysis and several imaging techniques for microstructure quantification: full-field soft and hard X-ray nano-tomographies; scanning infrared spectro-microscopy; scanning transmission and fluorescence X-ray tomographies. Finally, a personal outlook is provided.I am grateful to all my coauthors, collaborators, colleagues and PhD students, for all our work together during more than two decades. I thank the University of Malaga and ALBA Synchrotron Light Source for the support and the stirring environments. I acknowledge the Spanish science funding agencies (they change the name quite often) for funding my studentship, to do the PhD and the three summer research stays at Oxford University, to the last ongoing research project. To all synchrotrons I have been allowed to enjoy carrying out experiments: SRS, ESRF, Max-Lab, DLS, APS, SLS and ALBA. Finally, this work has been supported by the Spanish MINECO through the BIA2014-57658-C2-1-R research grant

    NLL{'} resummation of jet mass

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    Starting from a factorization theorem in effective field theory, we present resummed results for two non-global observables: the invariant-mass distribution of jets and the energy distribution outside jets. Our results include the full next-to-leading-order corrections to the hard, jet and soft functions and are implemented in a parton-shower framework which generates the renormalization-group running in the effective theory. The inclusion of these matching corrections leads to an improved description of the data and reduced theoretical uncertainties. They will have to be combined with two-loop running in the future, but our results are an important first step towards the higher-logarithmic resummation of non-global observables.Comment: 32 pages, 12 figures. v2: journal versio

    Study of alkaline hydrothermal activation of belite cements by thermal analysis

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    The effect of alkaline hydrothermal activation of class-C fly ash belite cement was studied using thermal analysis (TG/DTG) by determining the increase in the combined water during a period of hydration of 180 days. The results were compared with those obtained for a belite cement hydrothermally activated in water. The two belite cements were fabricated via the hydrothermal-calcination route of class-C fly ash in 1 M NaOH solution (FABC-2-N) or demineralised water (FABC-2-W). From the results, the effect of the alkaline hydrothermal activation of belite cement (FABC-2-N) was clearly differentiated, mainly at early ages of hydration, for which the increase in the combined water was markedly higher than that of the belite cement that was hydrothermally activated in water. Important direct quantitative correlations were obtained among physicochemical parameters, such as the combined water, the BET surface area, the volume of nano-pores, and macro structural engineering properties such as the compressive mechanical strength

    Lime stabilisation for earthworks: a UK perspective

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    Lime stabilisation is a versatile technique applied during earthworks operations. Modern soil recycling units are much more efficient at pulverising fill material and intermixing the added binder/water than machinery available 20 years ago. While supplier innovation adds flexibility to the site working method, specifications have not been sufficiently updated to permit optimal application. This review paper details the physico-chemical changes instigated through the lime-clay soil reaction, updating previous reviews. It aims to assist scientific debate, current practitioners and future specification changes. For example, the application of the minimum 24 h mellowing periods (mandatory to UK specifications) with high reactivity, quicklime powders is concluded to cause increased air voids in the compacted fill. Increased air voids are associated with reduced long-term strength and potential volume change from water ingress, which is of particular concern for sulfate swelling. Shorter mellowing periods and/or use of hydrated lime may lesson this issue; however, a 'one size fits all' approach is discouraged in preference to site-specific methodologies refined to suit the fill material and project requirements. The discussion also summarises working methods which may lower the risk of sulfate swell and defines areas requiring further practical research

    Assessment of electrophoresis and electroosmosis in construction materials: effect of enhancing electrolytes and heavy metals contamination

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    Electrokinetic effects are those that take place by application of an electric field to porous materials, with the zeta potential as the key parameter. Specifically, in the case of contaminated construction materials, the generation of an electroosmotic flux, with the corresponding dragging due to water transport, is a crucial mechanism to succeed in the treatment of decontamination. Therefore, it is of great interest trying to optimize the treatment by the addition of specific electrolytes enhancing the electrokinetic phenomena. Most of the data of zeta potential found in literature for construction materials are based in micro-electrophoresis measurements, which are quite far of the real conditions of application of the remediation treatments. In this paper, electrophoretic and electroosmotic experiments, with monolithic and powdered material respectively, have been carried out for mortar, brick and granite clean and contaminated with Cs, Sr, Co, Cd, Cu and Pb. The electrolytes tested have been distilled water (DW), Na2–EDTA, oxalic acid, acetic acid and citric acid. The zeta potential values have been determined through the two different techniques and the results compared and critically analysed

    Densification of the interlayer spacing governs the nanomechanical properties of calcium-silicate-hydrate

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    Calciuam-silicate-hydrate (C-S-H) is the principal binding phase in modern concrete. Molecular simulations imply that its nanoscale stiffness is 'defect-driven', i.e., dominated by crystallographic defects such as bridging site vacancies in its silicate chains. However, experimental validation of this result is difficult due to the hierarchically porous nature of C-S-H down to nanometers. Here, we integrate high pressure X-ray diffraction and atomistic simulations to correlate the anisotropic deformation of nanocrystalline C-S-H to its atomic-scale structure, which is changed by varying the Ca-to-Si molar ratio. Contrary to the 'defect-driven' hypothesis, we clearly observe stiffening of C-S-H with increasing Ca/Si in the range 0.8 ≤ Ca/Si ≤ 1.3, despite increasing numbers of vacancies in its silicate chains. The deformation of these chains along the b-axis occurs mainly through tilting of the Si-O-Si dihedral angle rather than shortening of the Si-O bond, and consequently there is no correlation between the incompressibilities of the a- and b-axes and the Ca/Si. On the contrary, the intrinsic stiffness of C-S-H solid is inversely correlated with the thickness of its interlayer space. This work provides direct experimental evidence to conduct more realistic modelling of C-S-H-based cementitious material
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