Engineering | Neithalath Lab

Rheological response of cementitious binders

Rheological studies of concentrated suspensions of solid particles in a continuous liquid medium are commonly used to assess the characteristics of materials in industries ranging from food to pharmaceuticals to construction materials. The flow behavior of these concentrated suspensions is influenced by surface contacts between solid particles and interparticle forces such as van Der Waals and steric forces. We have developed methods to extract yield stress of cementitious suspensions without approximating models and elucidated the rheological response of several sustainable binders.

Rheological studies of cementitious suspensions provide an understanding of how these materials behave in the fresh state and serve to monitor structure development that dictates the development of the mechanical properties. The influence of particle packing, particle contacts, surface areas, water film thickness, and solid loading on the yield stress and plastic viscosity of suspensions are evaluated in detail. Fundamental rheological studies are also used to infer the surface interactions between particles in multi-particle suspensions, either in water or a concentrated alkali solution (such as in the case of alkali activated systems). Relationships between rheological parameters and solid loading are arrived at to obtain better material designs for desirable fresh properties.

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