Quantifying dispersion of nanosilica in hardened cement matrix using a novel SEM-EDS and image analysis-based methodology

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2021-09
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Wang, Kejin
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Elsevier
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Wang, Kejin
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Civil, Construction and Environmental Engineering

The Department of Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering seeks to apply knowledge of the laws, forces, and materials of nature to the construction, planning, design, and maintenance of public and private facilities. The Civil Engineering option focuses on transportation systems, bridges, roads, water systems and dams, pollution control, etc. The Construction Engineering option focuses on construction project engineering, design, management, etc.

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The Department of Civil Engineering was founded in 1889. In 1987 it changed its name to the Department of Civil and Construction Engineering. In 2003 it changed its name to the Department of Civil, Construction and Environmental Engineering.

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1889-present

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  • Department of Civil Engineering (1889-1987)
  • Department of Civil and Construction Engineering (1987-2003)
  • Department of Civil, Construction and Environmental Engineering (2003–present)

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Civil, Construction and Environmental Engineering
Abstract
A novel image analysis method integrated with SEM-EDS is proposed in this study for assessing the dispersion state of nanosilica (NS) particles in the hardened cement matrix. The method entailed capturing a statistically significant number of SEM micrographs of a cement-NS paste and their EDS elemental maps, the latter of which revealed that at 3-days, distinct C-S-H gel with a consistently low Ca/Si ratio (<0.9) had formed through pozzolanic reaction. Thereafter, pixels with Ca/Si ratio of 0.6–0.9 were extracted from a micrograph using a ternary plot of the atomic percentages of Ca, Si, and Al. Following this procedure, binary images were obtained, based on which, for the first time, the agglomeration and dispersion of NS particles in hardened cement paste were characterized using various quantitative descriptors, such as fractal dimension and Delaunay triangulation. A relatively small mean absolute error (1.16 vol%) validated the accuracy of the proposed methodology.
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This is a manuscript of an article published as Sargam, Yogiraj, and Kejin Wang. "Quantifying dispersion of nanosilica in hardened cement matrix using a novel SEM-EDS and image analysis-based methodology." Cement and Concrete Research 147 (2021): 106524. DOI: 10.1016/j.cemconres.2021.106524. Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0). Copyright 2021 Elsevier Ltd. Posted with permission.
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