Nanoscratch study of the modification effects of nanoSiO2 on C-S-H gel/cement grain interfaces

Jing Xu*, David J. Corr, Surendra P. Shah

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


The modification effects of nanoSiO2 on properties of the interface region between cement grain and C- S- H gel in cement-based composites are investigated by means of the nanoscratch technique. The nanoscratch test involves driving a Berkovich diamond tip across the interface boundary perpendicularly and recording the lateral force while the normal load applied to the indenter is kept constant. The coefficient of friction (COF), defined as the ratio of lateral force to normal load, indicates an interfacial width close to 200 nm, which is irrelevant to the addition of nanoSiO2. However, the COF value within the interface region decreases significantly if nanoSiO2 is incorporated. The decreased friction between the indenter and the interface is mainly attributed to the reduction of adhesion friction, because the addition of nanoSiO2 has a densification effect on the interface. This study further confirms that nanoSiO2 addition is beneficial for the formation of a denser layer surrounding the unhydrated cement particles in early hydration ages.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number04017093
JournalJournal of Materials in Civil Engineering
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 2017


  • Cement-based materials
  • Interface
  • NanoSiO
  • Nanoscratch

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Mechanics of Materials

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