Projet NanoGP – Multiscale modeling of advanced nano-reinforced geopolymer/CNTs materials

Type of project : ANR
Dates : November 2020 – October 2023
Research team concerned :ER1
Project manager :Ali ZAOUI
Centers concerned :Lille University
Partners :Université de Darmstadt, Allemagne

Project description

Nowadays, geopolymers are advanced alternatives to cementitious materials, where their excellent chemical and fire resistance are some of its most appealing properties. Geopolymers enable the use of industrial waste materials while converting them into a novel binding material. Reinforcing geopolymers with nano-carbons would significantly strengthen its microstructure and with this enhancing the long-term mechanical and durability performance. The proposed project is supported by ANR project NanoGP. It will mainly focus on modeling, validating metakaolin and fly ash based geopolymers reinforced with carbon nanotubes (CNTs). Although some experimental studies have been conducted on nano-reinforced geopolymers, the molecular nano-structure, the relationship with the chemical composition, the reaction kinetics, and its effect on the mechanical properties and durability is still not fully understood. It remains difficult to tailor the properties of CNT_geopolymers since they are influenced by multiple synthesis factors, such as the properties of raw materials, chemical composition (e.g. Si/Al and Na/Al ratios), CNT density and dispersion, water content, curing temperature and humidity. Therefore, a clear understanding the characteristics of CNT_geopolymer-based microstructures, at the nano-scale level, is of vital importance for achieving the desired macro-mechanical properties.

Scientific contributions from the laboratory

The aim is to explore new avenues of research concerning geopolymers, as well as the usefulness of nanomaterials. This will make it possible to remove the many ambiguities still linked to this field. The results will give a new dynamism to the ER1 team and the laboratory in the field of civil engineering materials, the environment and modeling at small scales.