Investigating mechanical properties of ordinary portland cement. Investigating improvements to the mechanical properties of Ordinary Portland Cement (OPC) bodies by utilizing the phase transformation properties of a ceramic (Zirconia).
Tait, Simon J.
KeywordMechanical properties, Ordinary Portland Cement (OPC), Zirconia, Phase transformation properties, Thermal analysis, X-ray, Porosity distribution, Vacuum infiltration methods, Bell-shaped curves, Young's modulus of OPC composites, Crystallite sizes and structures
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InstitutionUniversity of Bradford
DepartmentSchool of Engineering, Design and Technology
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AbstractThe effects of metastable tetragonal zirconia on the properties of Ordinary Portland Cement were observed during which the effect of crystallite size pH on the preparation solution, precursor salt, and the presence of co-precipitates, Fe(OH)3, SnO2 and SiO2 on the crystallization temperature, enthalpy and crystal structure, immediately following the crystallization exothermic burst phenomenon in ZrO2 were measured. Thermal analysis and x-ray methods were used to determine crystallite sizes and structures immediately following the exothermic burst. Comparisons were made for zirconias prepared from oxychloride, chloride and nitrate solutions. The existence of tetrameric hydroxidecontaining ions in oxychloride precursor is used to rationalise low values of crystallization enthalpy. The position of the crystallization temperature, Tmax was not dependent on crystallite size alone but also on the pH at which the gel was made, the surface pH after washing, and the presence of diluent oxides. Enthalpy v r1/2 and Tmax v (diluent vol)1/3 relationships indicate that surface coverage effects dominate a surface nucleated phenomenon. The data established for ZrO2 systems was used to develop tetragonal-ZrO2-SnO2 powders capable of improving the mechanical properties of Ordinary Portland Cement discs. The ZrO2-OPC discs were prepared by powder mixing, water hydration and uniaxial pressing. Vicat needle tests showed that tetragonal-ZrO2 increases the initial setting rate. Microscopy indicated that porosity distribution changes near to ZrO2 particles. Zirconia has also been introduced into OPC discs by vacuum infiltration methods developed for solutions and colloidal suspensions. Comparisons between OPC discs and the OPCtetragonal ZrO2 composites have been made on the basis of diametral compression strength, Young’s modulus, hardness and toughness (K1c), as estimated by the cracked indentation method. Bell-shaped curves are found for the way the mechanical properties are changed as a function of Zirconia content.
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