Nanotechnology and the Concrete World: Small Science for a Big Future
2/4/2013, 4:10 pm - 5:10 pm
Florence Sanchez, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
Conventional cement-based materials suffer from a number of inherent deficiencies such as lack of ductility, long-term durability concerns, low tensile strength, poor impact resistance, and low electrical conductivity. Nano-level modifications of the structure of cement-based materials hold the potential of greatly enhancing the material mechanical properties and durability and opening the door for new applications in civil engineering infrastructure. The high specific strength, good chemical resistance, and electrical and thermal conductivity of carbon nanotubes/nanofibers make them attractive for use as cement reinforcement.
This presentation will review current work that is directed at developing a fundamental understanding of the controlling mechanisms of multi-scale, environmental weathering of nano-structured cement-based materials through an integrated experimental and computational program focusing on how molecular level, chemical phenomena at internal interfaces influence the long-term, bulk material performance.
Dr. Sanchez is an Associate Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Vanderbilt University. Her research interests include multiscale experimental characterization and computational modeling of the performance and durability of cement-based composites. The development of novel, cement-based composites with superior structural and functional properties and enhanced long-term durability occupies a central focus.
Dr. Sanchez was the recipient of a National Science Foundation (NSF) CAREER award in 2006. She is currently a member of the Transportation Research Board Task force on Nanotechnology-Based Concrete Materials (AFN15T) and the American Concrete Institute's committee on Materials Science of Concrete (ACI 236).