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Use of Nanoporous Thin Films (NPTF) to Improve Aggregate-Cement Interface

Project Information

Project ID: 
Project Status: 
Start Date: 
Thursday, April 1, 2010
End Date: 
Monday, April 1, 2013
FHWA Program: 
FHWA Subprogram: 
Pavement and Materials
TRT Terms: 
Materials; Cement; Cement Paste; Hydration; Infrastructure; Spectroscopy; Research
FHWA Discipline: 
Pavement and Materials, Structures
Subject Area: 

Contact Information

First Name: 
Last Name: 
(202) 493-3090
Email Address: 
Infrastructure Materials Team
Office of Infrastructure Research and Development
Office Code: 

Project Details

Project Description: 

Synthesize sol-gel nanoaluminosilicates with various Si/Al ratios and characterize the effect on hydration of Alite and Portland cement. Develop characterization procedures for characterizing paste samples, and tailor solubility of nanoaluminosilicate thin films through inorganofunctionalization to optimize performance.


Design new types of concrete nanoadditives to enhance the long-term mechanical performance of cementitious materials.

Project Output: 

Optimized surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) colloids to enable the characterization of calcium silicate hydrate (CSH) in concrete samples. Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) of xerogels analysis indicated no major sign of Si-O-Al (silica-oxygen-aluminum) formation when combining nanosilica with nanoboehmite or gibbsite. Calorimetry data indicate that silica and Si-O2-AlOOH (boehmite) mixes accelerate the hydration of C3S (alite) and C3A (tricalcium aluminate); however, boehmite and mixtures of Si-O2-AlOOH-rich boehmite only have an effect on the C3A.   Combinations of Si-O2-AlOOH accelerated the hydration reaction of the cement to a higher degree than nanosilica and boehmite individually; this effect is dependent on the silicon-to-aluminum ratio and correlates with this acceleration. Optimal Si to Al ratio found to be 0.65.