, Volume 47, Issue 6, pp 1011-1023
Date: 11 Jun 2013

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

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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.