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Issue 12, 2011
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The nano-branched structure of cementitious calcium–silicate–hydrate gel

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Abstract

Manipulation of concrete at the nanoscale is severely limited by the lack of precise knowledge on the nanostructure of calcium–silicate–hydrate gel, the main binding phase of cement-based materials. Here we report a computational description of C–S–H, which for the first time reconciles the existing structural and colloidal/gel-like models. Our molecular dynamic simulations predict the formation of a branched three-dimensional C–S–H solid network where the segmental branches (SB) are ∼3 × 3 × 6 nm-sized. The presented simulations account well for the features observed through Small Angle Neutron Scattering (SANS) experiments as well with various observations made by synchrotron X-ray, Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR), and Inelastic Neutron Spectroscopy (INS) measurements and lead to a better understanding of the cementitious nanostructure formation and morphology.

Graphical abstract: The nano-branched structure of cementitious calcium–silicate–hydrate gel

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Publication details

The article was received on 01 Dec 2010, accepted on 22 Dec 2010 and first published on 02 Feb 2011


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C0JM04185H
Citation: J. Mater. Chem., 2011,21, 4445-4449
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    The nano-branched structure of cementitious calcium–silicate–hydrate gel

    J. S. Dolado, M. Griebel, J. Hamaekers and F. Heber, J. Mater. Chem., 2011, 21, 4445
    DOI: 10.1039/C0JM04185H

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