Iranian researchers from Isfahan University of Technology studied the effect of nanoparticles on increasing the durability and lifetime of concrete decorations in cold areas.
Results of the research have applications in road construction industry.
One of the big problems in the application of concrete decorations in cold areas is their low durability in freezing and melting cycles. Therefore, it is necessary to increase the durability of the decoration for the ease of application, specially in cold areas.
To this end, Iranian researchers studied the effect of application of silicon oxide nanoparticles (nano-silica) and aluminum oxide (nano-alumina) on mechanical properties and durability of concrete. Results of the research solve the problem of early erosion of concrete and reduce its strength in cold climates.
Bubble-making materials are usually used to increase the durability of concrete. These materials somehow decrease the pressure resistance of concrete. However, results of this research show that the application of very small amount of nanomaterials, including nano-silica and nano-alumina, significantly increases pressure resistance of the concrete, and it is effective in increasing the durability of concrete against freezing and melting cycles.
The use of nano-silica and nano-alumina in concrete results in the creation of a denser structure. The structure is caused by micro-filling properties of nanomaterials. On the other hand, lime is produced due to the hydration of cement. The nanomaterials react with the formed lime and create calcium silicate gel that has very high resistance. Denser structure of the concrete causes the concrete to adsorb less water in humid areas, and less ice is formed inside the concrete in frozen times. In other words, less destruction is observed in the concrete.
Results of the research have been published in construction and Building Materials, vol. 48, 2013, pp. 580-584.