Research Topics

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Calcium silicate hydrates in a hydrated Portland cement (ESEM image)

Hydration

The main research focus “Modelling of cement hydration” deals with the parameters which influence the hydration of hydraulic binders. The composition of the solid and liquid phases during hydration is examined with a series of experimental methods and compared to the results of thermodynamic modelling.

The main research focus "Concrete admixtures" deals with the mechanisms of action of organic additives which are added in small quantities, at most a few percent in massof cement, to mortar and concrete mixtures.

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Tunnel concrete damaged by sulphate attack

Sustainability

The main research focus "Damage mechanisms" deals with the interaction of cement-based materials with the environment. The ingress or loss of ions critically influences the stability and the durability of concrete. The mechanisms are examined based on the microstructure and on the transport processes. Solutions for the development of more resistant concrete are investigated. 

The main research focus “Shrinkage” analyzes the causes of shrinkage-induced cracks in concrete, which may lead to a reduction of the durability. The goal is to develop concrete mixtures with reduced shrinkage-induced cracking and improved durability

As an important contribution to the sustainability of cementitious materials, alternative binder systems are investigated whose production involves less energy and a lower CO2 emission than Portland cement.