Enhancing Printable Concrete Thixotropy by High Shear Mixing
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Our results show that the storage elastic modulus as a function of time increases at a higher rate for cement paste mixed at higher vesus lower mixing intensity. Hence, higher mixing appears to be enhancing thixotropy. Using calorimetry analysis we find that higher mixing decreases the setting time and enhances the peak of the heat flow. By analyzing the nanoparticles present in the suspending fluid of the cement paste, we show, in accordance with literature, that an appropriate combination of mixing energy and super-plasticizer dosage promotes hydration by scratching hydrates from the surface of cement particles, stabilizing them in the suspending fluid and hence generating additional nucleation surfaces. These results open the door for the design of printing heads including high-shear micro mixers allowing for a faster liquid-to-solid transition of the printable material.
KeywordsThixotropy Nanoparticles Mixing Cement Calorimetry DLS