• Length:
    6 Weeks
  • Effort:
    3–4 hours per week
  • Price:

    FREE
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  • Institution
  • Subject:
  • Level:
    Intermediate
  • Language:
    English
  • Video Transcript:
    English

Prerequisites

This course will go into the details of the mechanisms of cement hydration. The most useful techniques for the characterization of cementitious materials will also be quite deeply explained. 

In order to assimilate all this information, it is recommended for the attendees to have a solid background in chemistry, physics and crystallography, or a bachelor in Materials Science. 

About this course

Skip About this course
Every day, we see concrete used all around us – to build our houses, offices, schools, bridges, and infrastructure. But few people actually understand what gives concrete its strength, resistance, and utility.

The aim of this course is to offer basic cement chemistry to practitioners, as well as new students in the fields of chemistry and engineering.

You will learn how cement is made and hydrated, as well as the environmental and economical benefits it offers. You’ll learn to test your samples in isocalorimetry in order to track the hydration and to prepare and observe samples by scanning electron microscopy. In the last two weeks of the course, you will also learn how X-ray diffraction works and how to apply it to cements.

Because the course is designed for beginning students, it’s not necessary to have a cement background, however a bachelor degree in Materials Science or knowledge in chemistry, physics and crystallography will help. This course starts with basics of cement, and progressively covers the latest advances in the understanding of cement hydration. This course lasts 6 weeks, during which you can take theoretical courses and tutorials to test the cement in the laboratory.

What you'll learn

Skip What you'll learn
  • Understanding of the hydration of cement
  • The science and utility behind Supplementary Cementitious Materials in concrete technology
  • Best practices (via tutorials) for testing samples through X-Rays diffractometry, Scanning Electronic Microscopy and Isothermal calorimetry
Week 1: Research context on sustainable cementitious materials
Set up the context of sustainability in the research about cementitious materials Week 2: Hydration of cement
Introduction to cement chemistry and hydration mechanism Week 3: SEM -EDX
How to use SEM-EDX to characterize cement. Learn the best practices and LMC tips. Week 4: Cement and kinetics
Go deeper in cement hydration and kinetics of the reaction. Learn how to use isocalorimetry to follow the reaction: best practices and LMC tips. Week 5: XRD 1
Learn the basics on XRD and how to prepare samples for XRD Week 6: XRD 2
Apply XRD to cementitious materials and go deeper on analyzing the XRD results.

Meet your instructors

Karen Scrivener
Director of the Laboratory of Construction Materials
École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne
Ruben Snellings
Researcher at the Sustainable Materials Management Unit of VITO
Flemish Institute of Technological Research
Aurélie Favier
Postdoctoral Researcher
École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne
Xuerun Li
Postdoctoral Researcher
École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne

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