Modeling early-age hydration kinetics of Portland cement using flexible neural tree


The early-age hydration of Portland cement paste has an important impact on the formation of microstructure and development of strength. However, manual derivation of analytic kinetic equation for hydration process is very difficult because there are multi-phased, multi-sized and interrelated complex chemical and physical reactions during cement hydration. In this paper, a flexible neural tree structure is built as the right-hand side of kinetics instead of traditional analytic expression. Two evolutionary algorithms gene expression programming and particle swarm optimization are used to evolve tree structure and rules’ parameters, respectively. In order to reduce the computing time, GPUs are used for acceleration in parallel. Studies have shown that according to the established model, simulation curve of early-age hydration is in good accordance with the observed experimental data. Furthermore, this model still has a good generalization ability even changing chemical composition, particle size and curing conditions.

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This work was supported by National Basic Pre-Research Program of China (973 Program) under Grant No. 2010CB635117. National Natural Science Foundation of China under Grant No. 60873089, No. 60573065, No. 61070130, No. 60903176, No. 60673130, and No. 90818001. Provincial Natural Science Foundation for Outstanding Young Schoolers of Shandong under Grant No. JQ200820. Program for New Century Excellent Talents in University under Grant No. NCET-10-0863.

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Correspondence to Bo Yang.

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Wang, L., Yang, B., Chen, Y. et al. Modeling early-age hydration kinetics of Portland cement using flexible neural tree. Neural Comput & Applic 21, 877–889 (2012).

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  • Neural network
  • Flexible neural tree
  • Portland cement
  • Hydration kinetics