High performance cement via cellulose nanocrystal addition

Presented by: Professor Jeffery Youngblood, Purdue University

A brief review of cement and its chemistry will be presented so that current progress on property enhancement of cement by cellulose nanocrystal (CNC) addition will be understood and placed in context. CNCs are an attractive material class for possible applications in nanocomposites reinforcement, nanomaterials and biomedicine as they have high strength and stiffness, yet are renewable, biodegradable, non-toxic, and cheap. Previously we showed that CNCs are highly surface active on the cement particles and act to stabilize them in dispersion, thus lowering yield (increasing plasticity), as well as increase strength due to hydration increases. Here, we will detail efforts to utilize these materials in cementitious composites with special attention paid to the latest results indicating that cement type as well as CNC properties matter. These effects will be presented and explained with a mechanistic view by relying on data from microscopy, rheology, mechanical testing, and other techniques.