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Rheology of Cementitious Materials.

pdf icon Rheology of Cementitious Materials. (832 K)
Flatt, R. J.; Martys, N. S.; Bergstrom, L.

Materials Research Society (MRS Bulletin), Vol. 29, No. 5, 314-318, May 2004.


cements; rheology; concretes; colloids; superplasticizers; polymers


The introduction of a new generation of dispersants in concrete allow this material to exhibit self-compacting properties in its fresh state and high durability and mechanical strength in its hardened state. These properties translate into many practical advantages for the construction field.Two of the most important are reducing the ecological impact of this sector of industry and reducing the labor-intensive work associated with placing ordinary concrete by vibration. In this article, it will be shown that knowledge of colloidal science has proven essential in the development of this new generation of dispersants for concrete. Indeed, the polymer molecules used in these dispersants are specifically designed to induce steric repulsion between cement particles, reducing their agglomeration and allowing high workability of fresh concrete prior to setting. While the linkage between interparticle forces and the rheological behavior of cement pastes is still only semiquantitative, recent advances in the modeling of concrete rheology show very promising results in terms of handling aggregates with a wide distribution of particle sizes and shapes. However, accurate modeling requires reliable input on the interaction of the dispersant with the hydrating cement at the molecular level, which is identified as a future research challenge.