Engineering Defects to Build Strength

Prof. Ange-Therese Akono, Assistant Professor in Civil Engineering, and her research group have collaborated on a recent publication in the Cement and Concrete Composites journal. The study uncovered the dual role of air voids in dictating the strength response of geopolymer composites. Geopolymers are inorganic polymeric and X-ray amorphous materials with potential applications in green concrete, affordable housing, passive cooling of buildings, and fire-resistant structural elements. The Akono lab showed that geopolymers derive their intrinsic strength properties from the friction of nanograins at the precursor level. The research findings provide advanced design principles to tailor the mechanical response of geopolymer composites to their desired application. The work was supported by a grant from the Division of Civil Mechanical and Manufacturing Innovation of the National Science Foundation.

To read more about the publication, titled “Influence of pore structure on the strength behavior of particle- and fiber-reinforced metakaolin-based geopolymer composites”, click here.