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The nano-branched structure of cementitious calcium-silicate-hydrate gel

: Dolado, J.S.; Griebel, M.; Hamaekers, J.; Heber, F.


Journal of Materials Chemistry 21 (2011), Nr.12, S.4445-4449
ISSN: 0959-9428
Fraunhofer SCAI ()

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 [similar]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.