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Alkali activated systems: understanding the influence of curing conditions and activator type/chemistry on the mechanical strength and chemical structure of fly ash/slag systems

Description

The alkali activation of aluminosilicate materials as binder systems derived from industrial byproducts have been extensively studied due to the advantages they offer in terms enhanced material properties, while increasing sustainability by the reuse of industrial waste and byproducts and

The alkali activation of aluminosilicate materials as binder systems derived from industrial byproducts have been extensively studied due to the advantages they offer in terms enhanced material properties, while increasing sustainability by the reuse of industrial waste and byproducts and reducing the adverse impacts of OPC production. Fly ash and ground granulated blast furnace slag are commonly used for their content of soluble silica and aluminate species that can undergo dissolution, polymerization with the alkali, condensation on particle surfaces and solidification. The following topics are the focus of this thesis: (i) the use of microwave assisted thermal processing, in addition to heat-curing as a means of alkali activation and (ii) the relative effects of alkali cations (K or Na) in the activator (powder activators) on the mechanical properties and chemical structure of these systems. Unsuitable curing conditions instigate carbonation, which in turn lowers the pH of the system causing significant reductions in the rate of fly ash activation and mechanical strength development. This study explores the effects of sealing the samples during the curing process, which effectively traps the free water in the system, and allows for increased aluminosilicate activation. The use of microwave-curing in lieu of thermal-curing is also studied in order to reduce energy consumption and for its ability to provide fast volumetric heating. Potassium-based powder activators dry blended into the slag binder system is shown to be effective in obtaining very high compressive strengths under moist curing conditions (greater than 70 MPa), whereas sodium-based powder activation is much weaker (around 25 MPa). Compressive strength decreases when fly ash is introduced into the system. Isothermal calorimetry is used to evaluate the early hydration process, and to understand the reaction kinetics of the alkali powder activated systems. A qualitative evidence of the alkali-hydroxide concentration of the paste pore solution through the use of electrical conductivity measurements is also presented, with the results indicating the ion concentration of alkali is more prevalent in the pore solution of potassium-based systems. The use of advanced spectroscopic and thermal analysis techniques to distinguish the influence of studied parameters is also discussed.

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Date Created
2013

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Time dependent rheological response of composite binders

Description

The need for sustainability in construction has encouraged scientists to develop novel environmentally friendly materials. The use of supplementary cementitious materials was one such initiative which aided in enhancing the fresh and hardened concrete properties. This thesis aims to explore

The need for sustainability in construction has encouraged scientists to develop novel environmentally friendly materials. The use of supplementary cementitious materials was one such initiative which aided in enhancing the fresh and hardened concrete properties. This thesis aims to explore the understanding of the early age rheological properties of such cementitious systems.

The first phase of the work investigates the influence of supplementary cementitious materials (SCM) in combination with ordinary Portland cement (OPC) on the rheological properties of fresh paste with and without the effect of superplasticizers. Yield stress, plastic viscosity and storage modulus are the rheological parameters which were evaluated for all the design mixtures to fundamentally understand the synergistic effects of the SCM. A time-dependent study was conducted on these blends to explore the structure formation at various time intervals which explains the effect of hydration in conjecture to its physical stiffening. The second phase focuses on the rheological characterization of novel iron powder based binder system.

The results of this work indicate that the rheological characteristics of cementitious suspensions are complex, and strongly dependent on several key parameters including: the solid loading, inter-particle forces, shape of the particle, particle size distribution of the particles, and rheological nature of the media in which the particles are suspended. Chemical composition and reactivity of the material play an important role in the time-dependent rheological study.

A stress plateau method is utilized for the determination of rheological properties of concentrated suspensions, as it better predicts the apparent yield stress and is shown to correlate well with other viscoelastic properties of the suspensions. Plastic viscosity is obtained by calculating the slope of the stress-strain rate curve of ramp down values of shear rates. In oscillatory stress measurements the plateau obtained within the linear visco-elastic region was considered to be the value for storage modulus.

Between the different types of fly ash, class F fly ash indicated a reduction in the rheological parameters as opposed to class C fly ash that is attributable to the enhanced ettringite formation in the latter. Use of superplasticizer led to a huge influence on yield stress and storage modulus of the paste due to the steric hindrance effect.

In the study of iron based binder systems, metakaolin had comparatively higher influence than fly ash on the rheology due to its tendency to agglomerate as opposed to the ball bearing effect observed in the latter. Iron increment above 60% resulted in a decrease in all the parameters of rheology discussed in this thesis. In the OPC-iron binder, the iron behaved as reinforcements yielding higher yield stress and plastic viscosity.

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Date Created
2016

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Using virtual testing for characterization of composite materials

Description

Composite materials are finally providing uses hitherto reserved for metals in structural systems applications – airframes and engine containment systems, wraps for repair and rehabilitation, and ballistic/blast mitigation systems. They have high strength-to-weight ratios, are durable and resistant to environmental

Composite materials are finally providing uses hitherto reserved for metals in structural systems applications – airframes and engine containment systems, wraps for repair and rehabilitation, and ballistic/blast mitigation systems. They have high strength-to-weight ratios, are durable and resistant to environmental effects, have high impact strength, and can be manufactured in a variety of shapes. Generalized constitutive models are being developed to accurately model composite systems so they can be used in implicit and explicit finite element analysis. These models require extensive characterization of the composite material as input. The particular constitutive model of interest for this research is a three-dimensional orthotropic elasto-plastic composite material model that requires a total of 12 experimental stress-strain curves, yield stresses, and Young’s Modulus and Poisson’s ratio in the material directions as input. Sometimes it is not possible to carry out reliable experimental tests needed to characterize the composite material. One solution is using virtual testing to fill the gaps in available experimental data. A Virtual Testing Software System (VTSS) has been developed to address the need for a less restrictive method to characterize a three-dimensional orthotropic composite material. The system takes in the material properties of the constituents and completes all 12 of the necessary characterization tests using finite element (FE) models. Verification and validation test cases demonstrate the capabilities of the VTSS.

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Date Created
2015

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Kinetics of alkaline activation of slag and fly ash-slag systems

Description

Alkali-activated aluminosilicates, commonly known as "geopolymers", are being increasingly studied as a potential replacement for Portland cement. These binders use an alkaline activator, typically alkali silicates, alkali hydroxides or a combination of both along with a silica-and-alumina rich material, such

Alkali-activated aluminosilicates, commonly known as "geopolymers", are being increasingly studied as a potential replacement for Portland cement. These binders use an alkaline activator, typically alkali silicates, alkali hydroxides or a combination of both along with a silica-and-alumina rich material, such as fly ash or slag, to form a final product with properties comparable to or better than those of ordinary Portland cement. The kinetics of alkali activation is highly dependent on the chemical composition of the binder material and the activator concentration. The influence of binder composition (slag, fly ash or both), different levels of alkalinity, expressed using the ratios of Na2O-to-binders (n) and activator SiO2-to-Na2O ratios (Ms), on the early age behavior in sodium silicate solution (waterglass) activated fly ash-slag blended systems is discussed in this thesis. Optimal binder composition and the n values are selected based on the setting times. Higher activator alkalinity (n value) is required when the amount of slag in the fly ash-slag blended mixtures is reduced. Isothermal calorimetry is performed to evaluate the early age hydration process and to understand the reaction kinetics of the alkali activated systems. The differences in the calorimetric signatures between waterglass activated slag and fly ash-slag blends facilitate an understanding of the impact of the binder composition on the reaction rates. Kinetic modeling is used to quantify the differences in reaction kinetics using the Exponential as well as the Knudsen method. The influence of temperature on the reaction kinetics of activated slag and fly ash-slag blends based on the hydration parameters are discussed. Very high compressive strengths can be obtained both at early ages as well as later ages (more than 70 MPa) with waterglass activated slag mortars. Compressive strength decreases with the increase in the fly ash content. A qualitative evidence of leaching is presented through the electrical conductivity changes in the saturating solution. The impact of leaching and the strength loss is found to be generally higher for the mixtures made using a higher activator Ms and a higher n value. Attenuated Total Reflectance-Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (ATR-FTIR) is used to obtain information about the reaction products.

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Date Created
2012

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Design procedures for strain hardening cement composites (SHCC) and measurement of their shear properties by mechanical and 2-D digital image correlation (DIC) method

Description

The main objective of this study is to investigate the behaviour and applications of strain hardening cement composites (SHCC). Application of SHCC for use in slabs of common configurations was studied and design procedures are prepared by employing yield line

The main objective of this study is to investigate the behaviour and applications of strain hardening cement composites (SHCC). Application of SHCC for use in slabs of common configurations was studied and design procedures are prepared by employing yield line theory and integrating it with simplified tri-linear model developed in Arizona State University by Dr. Barzin Mobasher and Dr. Chote Soranakom. Intrinsic material property of moment-curvature response for SHCC was used to derive the relationship between applied load and deflection in a two-step process involving the limit state analysis and kinematically admissible displacements. For application of SHCC in structures such as shear walls, tensile and shear properties are necessary for design. Lot of research has already been done to study the tensile properties and therefore shear property study was undertaken to prepare a design guide. Shear response of textile reinforced concrete was investigated based on picture frame shear test method. The effects of orientation, volume of cement paste per layer, planar cross-section and volume fraction of textiles were investigated. Pultrusion was used for the production of textile reinforced concrete. It is an automated set-up with low equipment cost which provides uniform production and smooth final surface of the TRC. A 3-D optical non-contacting deformation measurement technique of digital image correlation (DIC) was used to conduct the image analysis on the shear samples by means of tracking the displacement field through comparison between the reference image and deformed images. DIC successfully obtained full-field strain distribution, displacement and strain versus time responses, demonstrated the bonding mechanism from perspective of strain field, and gave a relation between shear angle and shear strain.

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Date Created
2014

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Design optimization of laminated composite structures using explicit finite element analysis

Description

Laminated composite materials are used in aerospace, civil and mechanical structural systems due to their superior material properties compared to the constituent materials as well as in comparison to traditional materials such as metals. Laminate structures are composed of multiple

Laminated composite materials are used in aerospace, civil and mechanical structural systems due to their superior material properties compared to the constituent materials as well as in comparison to traditional materials such as metals. Laminate structures are composed of multiple orthotropic material layers bonded together to form a single performing part. As such, the layup design of the material largely influences the structural performance. Optimization techniques such as the Genetic Algorithm (GA), Differential Evolution (DE), the Method of Feasible Directions (MFD), and others can be used to determine the optimal laminate composite material layup. In this thesis, sizing, shape and topology design optimization of laminated composites is carried out. Sizing optimization, such as the layer thickness, topology optimization, such as the layer orientation and material and the number of layers present, and shape optimization of the overall composite part contribute to the design optimization process of laminates. An optimization host program written in C++ has been developed to implement the optimization methodology of both population based and numerical gradient based methods. The performance of the composite structural system is evaluated through explicit finite element analysis of shell elements carried out using LS-DYNA. Results from numerical examples demonstrate that optimization design processes can significantly improve composite part performance through implementation of optimum material layup and part shape.

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Date Created
2014

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Numerical solutions of wave propagation in beams

Description

In order to verify the dispersive nature of transverse displacement in a beam, a deep understanding of the governing partial differential equation is developed. Using the finite element method and Newmark’s method, along with Fourier transforms and other methods, the

In order to verify the dispersive nature of transverse displacement in a beam, a deep understanding of the governing partial differential equation is developed. Using the finite element method and Newmark’s method, along with Fourier transforms and other methods, the aim is to obtain consistent results across each numerical technique. An analytical solution is also analyzed for the Euler-Bernoulli beam in order to gain confidence in the numerical techniques when used for more advance beam theories that do not have a known analytical solution. Three different beam theories are analyzed in this report: The Euler-Bernoulli beam theory, Rayleigh beam theory and Timoshenko beam theory. A comparison of the results show the difference between each theory and the advantages of using a more advanced beam theory for higher frequency vibrations.

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Date Created
2016

A study of heating and degradation of acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene/polycarbonate polymer due to ultraviolet lasers illumination during localized pre-deposition heating for fused filament fabrication 3D printing

Description

With the growing popularity of 3d printing in recreational, research, and commercial enterprises new techniques and processes are being developed to improve the quality of parts created. Even so, the anisotropic properties is still a major hindrance of parts manufactured

With the growing popularity of 3d printing in recreational, research, and commercial enterprises new techniques and processes are being developed to improve the quality of parts created. Even so, the anisotropic properties is still a major hindrance of parts manufactured in this method. The goal is to produce parts that mimic the strength characteristics of a comparable part of the same design and materials created using injection molding. In achieving this goal the production cost can be reduced by eliminating the initial investment needed for the creation of expensive tooling. This initial investment reduction will allow for a wider variant of products in smaller batch runs to be made available. This thesis implements the use of ultraviolet (UV) illumination for an in-process laser local pre-deposition heating (LLPH). By comparing samples with and without the LLPH process it is determined that applied energy that is absorbed by the polymer is converted to an increase in the interlayer temperature, and resulting in an observed increase in tensile strength over the baseline test samples. The increase in interlayer bonding thus can be considered the dominating factor over polymer degradation.

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Date Created
2017

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Effect of Gamma-Rays on Morphology and Tensile Properties of Polypropylene Fiber for Cement Composites.

Description

Concrete is relatively brittle, and its tensile strength is typically only about one-tenth of its compressive strength. Regular concrete is therefore normally uses reinforcement steel bars to increase the tensile strength. It is becoming increasingly popular to use random distributed

Concrete is relatively brittle, and its tensile strength is typically only about one-tenth of its compressive strength. Regular concrete is therefore normally uses reinforcement steel bars to increase the tensile strength. It is becoming increasingly popular to use random distributed fibers as reinforcement and polymeric fibers is once such kind. In the case of polymeric fibers, due to hydrophobicity and lack of any chemical bond between the fiber and matrix, the weak interface zone limits the ability of the fibers to effectively carry the load that is on the matrix phase. Depending on the fiber’s surface asperity, shape, chemical nature, and mechanical bond characteristic of the load transfer between matrix and fiber can be altered so that the final composite can be improved. These modifications can be carried out by means of thermal treatment, mechanical surface modifications, or chemical changes The objective of this study is to measure and document the effect of gamma ray irradiation on the mechanical properties of macro polymeric fibers. The objective is to determine the mechanical properties of macro-synthetic fibers and develop guidelines for treatment and characterization that allow for potential positive changes due to exposure to irradiation. Fibers are exposed to various levels of ionizing radiation and the tensile, interface and performance in a mortar matrix are documented. Uniaxial tensile tests were performed on irradiated fibers to study fiber strength and failure pattern. SEM tests were carried out in order to study the surface characteristic and effect of different radiation dose on polymeric fiber. The interaction of the irradiated fiber with the cement composite was studied by a series of quasi-static pullout test for a specific embedded length. As a final task, flexural tests were carried out for different irradiated fibers to sum up the investigation. An average increase of 13% in the stiffness of the fiber was observed for 5 kGy of radiation. Flexural tests showed an average increase of 181% in the Req3 value and 102 % in the toughness of the sample was observed for 5 kGy of dose.

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Date Created
2018

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On Building Blocks for Virtual Testing of Unidirectional Polymeric Composites

Description

This research summarizes the characterization of the constituent materials of a unidirectional composite for use in a finite element model. Specifically the T800s-F3900 composite from Toray Composites, Seattle, WA. Testing was carried out on cured polymer matrix provided by the

This research summarizes the characterization of the constituent materials of a unidirectional composite for use in a finite element model. Specifically the T800s-F3900 composite from Toray Composites, Seattle, WA. Testing was carried out on cured polymer matrix provided by the manufacturer and single fiber specimen. The material model chosen for the polymer matrix was MAT 187 (Semi-Analytical Model for Polymers) which allowed for input of the tension, compression, and shear load responses.

The matrix was tested in tension, compression, and shear and was assumed to be isotropic. Ultimate strengths of the matrix were found to be 10 580 psi in tension, 25 900 psi in compression, and 5 940 in shear. The material properties calculated suggest the resin as being an isotropic material with the moduli in tension and compression being approximately equal (3% difference between the experimental values) and the shear modulus following typical isotropic relations. Single fiber properties were obtained for the T800s fiber in tension only with the modulus being approximately 40 500 ksi and the peak stress value being approximately 309 ksi.

The material model predicts the behavior of the multi-element testing simulations in both deformation and failure in the direction of loading.

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Date Created
2019