Institute of Functional Interfaces

Molecular mechanisms of mechanical and chemical corrosion on cementitious materials

Due to their advantages in terms of availability of raw materials, processing, applicability, material properties, durability and price, cement-bound materials are among the most important building materials today. Due to their use, however, these structures are exposed to mechanical and chemical influences which can change the material. The consequences of these effects are therefore technologically, ecologically and economically complex repairs.

Figure 1: The selected images reflect the strategy of research: detailed knowledge from basic research is transferred to technology for innovation. The focus here is on the durability of cement-bound materials.

To date, however, there is no clear understanding of the molecular mechanisms of mechanical and chemical corrosion in cement-bound materials. Therefore, it is still not known today whether it is worse when (A) the truck drives over the road, when (B) it rains on the road, or when (C) the truck drives over the road when it rains. One reason for the difficulty of generating new knowledge at the atomic level is the complex chemical behaviour of the relevant mineral interfaces. Complex chemical behaviour in this context means that the structures are a mixture of both amorphous and crystalline phases, stoichiometries are not unique and the material is reactive over a very long time (years).