Original Article

Materials and Structures

, Volume 47, Issue 6, pp 1011-1023

Dispersion of CaCO3 nanoparticles by sonication and surfactant treatment for application in fly ash–cement systems

  • Shiho KawashimaAffiliated withDepartment of Civil Engineering and Engineering Mechanics, Columbia UniversityDepartment of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Northwestern University Email author 
  • , Jung-Woo Ted SeoAffiliated withDepartment of Materials Science and Engineering, Northwestern University
  • , David CorrAffiliated withDepartment of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Northwestern University
  • , Mark C. HersamAffiliated withDepartment of Materials Science and Engineering, Northwestern University
  • , Surendra P. ShahAffiliated withDepartment of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Northwestern University

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Abstract

This research aims to offset the negative effects of fly ash on the early-age properties of cementitious materials with the use of calcium carbonate (CaCO3) nanoparticles. The main focus is to enhance the effect of the nanoparticles by improving dispersion through ultrasonication and use of surfactants. CaCO3 aqueous suspensions with various surfactant types and concentrations are prepared and subjected to different sonication protocols (varying duration and amplitude). Dispersion and stability are quantitatively measured by comparing their absorbance spectra through spectrophotometry and qualitatively evaluated through SEM imaging. The effectiveness of sonicated CaCO3 nanoparticle additions in accelerating setting and improving early-age compressive strength gain of fly ash–cement pastes is investigated. The sonication protocol is optimized and the most effective dispersion is achieved with polycarboxylate-based superplasticizer. Good agreement is found between the dispersion measurements and mechanical performance.

Keywords

Calcium carbonate Nanoparticles Dispersion Sonication Fly ash Cement and Concrete