Characterizing the nano and micro structure of concrete to improve its durability

New and advanced methodologies have been developed to characterize the nano and microstructure of cement paste and concrete exposed to aggressive environments. High resolution full-field soft X-ray imaging in the water window is providing new insight on the nano scale of the cement hydration process, which leads to a nano-optimization of cement-based systems. Hard X-ray microtomography images of ice inside cement paste and cracking caused by the alkali-silica reaction (ASR) enables three-dimensional structural identification. The potential of neutron diffraction to determine reactive aggregates by measuring their residual strains and preferred orientation is studied. Results of experiments using these tools are shown on this paper. © 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Monteiro PJM, Kirchheim AP, Chae S, Fischer P, MacDowell AA, et al. (2009) Characterizing the nano and micro structure of concrete to improve its durability. Cement and Concrete Composites 31: 577–584. Available:

Paulo Monteiro and Rudy Wenk acknowledge the financial support from the National Science Foundation Grant 062464 and from KAUST. Ana Paula Kirchheim acknowledge the financial support of CAPES (Fundação Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior – Ministério da Educação – Brasil). The soft X-ray microscope and the Advanced Light Source are supported by the Director, Office of Science, Office of Basic Energy Sciences, of the U.S. Department of Energy under Contract No. DE-AC02-05CH11231. The authors would like to thank Cruz Carlos and Roula Rbeiz for their assistance in the ASTM-1260 preparation and testing.

Elsevier BV

Cement and Concrete Composites


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