This module introduces students to the nanotechnologies, processes, and methods being tested by industry to prepare strong and lightweight cementitious products and systems. The module takes the learner through processing a material (called microgrinding or powder milling) to reduce its size and use the new material (nanoparticles) as an aggregate to create a dense yet light and strong concrete. Hands-on activities include processing nanoparticles, creating nanocrete samples, and testing samples for tensile strength and durability (hardness).
Module Resources and Documents
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Nano Concepts (Which nanotechnology areas are being explored)
- Sense of scale (size of aggregate particles before and after processing)
- Surface area to volume ratio (more cement particles make contact with the Perlite)
- Priority of forces and interactions (density and particle packing, hydration at a smaller size, hydrogen bonds, and Van der Waals interactions)
- The tools of nanoscience (micro-grinding, scanning electron microscopy)
Traditional Science Concepts (Which science areas are being explored)
- Mechanical strength of materials
- Types of mechanical stress: tensile, shear
- The relationship between stress and strain
- The nature and structure of matter
List of Required Materials (Per person/team)
The full list of items needed for this module is below. Note that materials for DIY modules are not available through Nano-Link or the Nano-Infusion program.
- Ground Perlite
- 6 molds
- 2 beakers
- Measuring spoon (tablespoon)
- 2 stir sticks
- 2 mixing cups/buckets – Clear vessels work best.
- A mold release, such as spray cooking oil or a commercial spray release from a hobby store
- Digital scale, tabletop type such as a kitchen/food scale.
- Latex gloves
- Safety glasses