The global cement industry produces 2.8 billion tones of product plus 1bn tones of CO2 and is increasing at 5% per annum, especially in developing nations. This is one of the largest CO2 producing industries which needs to improve the efficiency of its product to reduce global impact. Yet the understanding of the fundamental binding forces in cement is not clear. This project aims to study the nano-scale forces operating between the cement gel particles in order to produce more effective cement products, provided there is much of interest in linking phenomena occurring at the nano-scale with engineering performance at the macro-scale. The fellow’s expertise on the forces involved between nanoparticles with structured water on their surface will give an important insight in how to use the adhesive potential of water in cement-based materials. This should allow the designing of suitable cementitious microstructures containing nanometric particles, at present a very difficult task. Indeed, this is the first time that these interdisciplinary ideas of adhesion by confined water will be systematically explored in cement-based materials, including those used as biomaterials. To do so, this project will bring together the interdisciplinary concepts and techniques from nanoscience with examples from bioadhesion to define radical changes and applications. Ultimately, this project is timely and relevant because the European leading companies (cement-based service providers or manufacturers – four out of the world top five cement producers are European) are being pushed to offer sustainable materials as well as best mechanically tailored ones. The scientific benefit will be defined by the high quality papers submitted to leading academic adhesion and nanoscience journals. In turn, societal benefit will be gained by exporting the results to emerging countries where the economic development model needs urgently to respect the sustainability.
Field of science
- /social sciences/other social sciences/social sciences interdisciplinary/sustainable development
Call for proposal
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