This study will help the construction industry to produce a more environment-friendly concrete. The researchers focused on "understanding the micro-structural development of concrete using different components" and how the structure affects the performance of concrete. "Concrete is the most widely used construction material in the world," says a statement issued by IIT Madras. Every year, seven cubic kilometres of concrete is manufactured, it adds. Conventional concrete is made of cement, aggregate particles like rock and sand, mixed with water.
The reaction between cement and water causes the mixture to harden over time. Modern concrete, on the other hand, uses chemical and mineral additives that impart certain unique properties to it. The cement is generally a mixture of two or three different ingredients. The research study deals with studying and exploring the properties of a three-component cement. The researchers have "studied the role of physical structure alterations on three binder types - plain Portland cement, fly ash-based binder and calcined clay-limestone binder (LC3)" to understand how it affects the concrete durability. The analysis of various factors controlling the durability performance helps to "understand how the various components contribute to the performance of the concrete." The research has been funded partially by Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation and the Department of Science and Technology, Government of India. The findings, assembled in a paper authored by Yuvaraj Dhandapani, a PhD schoarla and Manu Santhanam, head of the department of civil engineering, have been published recently in the reputed peer-reviewed journal Cement and Concrete Research. The research will provide critical insight into the structural development mechanisms of when different components are mixed and how it affects the concrete performance. The study will pave the way for making a more durable concrete.