STUDY OF THE EFFECT OF SOME COMMERCIALLY AVAILABLE
NANOPOWDERS ON THE STRENGTH OF CONCRETE
BASED ON ALUMINA CEMENT
V. V. Vikulin,
M. K. Alekseev,
and I. L. Shkarupa
Translated from Novye Ogneupory, No. 8, pp. 34 – 36, August 2011.
Original article submitted February 11, 2011.
A preliminary study is provided of the effect of some grades of commercially available inorganic
nanopowders on hardening of concrete based on alumina cement. It is established that there is an increase in
concrete hardening rate and an increase in the ultimate strength in compression with use of micro-additions
(~0.1 wt.%) of very fine aluminum oxide. Preliminary proposals are provided for a possible mechanism of the
effect of these nanocomponent micro-additions.
Keywords: concrete, alumina cement, nanopowders, strength.
In the last few years in view of the rapid in the amount of
research devoted to synthesis of micro- and nanopowders,
there is often mention of the technically useful effect about
introduction of these powders into various materials for
structural and building purposes, i.e., polymers, concretes,
etc. Carbon derivatives most often figure within the number
of micro- and nanoadditions, i.e. fibers, nanotubes, and vari-
ous semifinished products with a branched surface, although
within advertised materials nanopowders of the oxide type
are often encountered. Developers and producers of nanosize
powders often make broad generalizations about successful
application of these products in various areas of technology,
but the comparatively small volume of demand for them in
dicates that this is not always so. In scientific monographs of
a review nature for concretes and additions to them it is only
possible to encounter occasional mention about the effects of
Within the scope of current research an estimate was
made of the effect of some technically available nano
powders on concrete strength properties based on alumina
cement, in order to reveal reliably the presence of absence of
useful technical effects due to their application. A criterion of
technical availability of nanopowders is considered by the
authors to be existence as a minimum of industrial test pro
duction with a volume not less than tens of kilograms a
Four forms of industrially available nanomodifiers were
selected for study, i.e., two with a polar structure (aluminum
and zirconium oxides), and two with a nonpolar structure
(powders of nanodiamonds and carbon of fulleroid structure).
Use of the following products was checked:
1. Nanodiamond in the form of 10% aqueous dispersion
with sizes of the main mass of crystals of 4 – 10 nm (aggre
gates with a size up to 100 nm are present). Production tech
nology is not revealed by the producer.
2. Nanosize powders of fulleroid structure carbon. Pro
duction technology is not revealed by the producer.
3. Nanodispersed powder of zirconium dioxide of cubic
structure, stabilized with yttrium oxide produced by ONPP
Tekhnologiya, crystallite size less than 20 nm.
4. Nanodispersed powder of aluminum dioxide produced
by ONPP Tekhnologiya, crystallite size less than 30 nm.
All of these products are manufactured in quite large
amounts (tens or hundreds of kilograms).
Concrete specimens for strength tests were prepared in
accordance with the procedure described in GOST 310.4–81,
with use of normal sand according to GOST 6139. The con
tent of alumina cement in all cases was 25%, and the wa
ter-cement ratio was 0.45. A water-cement ratio of 0.45 was
selected in accordance with p.2.1.5 of GOST 310.4–81 on
the basis of previous checking with the aim of providing the
maximum specimen uniformity. The recommended standard
typical water-cement ratio of 0.4 did not provide sufficient
Refractories and Industrial Ceramics Vol. 52, No. 4, November, 2011
1083-4877/11/05204-0288 © 2011 Springer Science+Business Media, Inc.
FGUP ONPP Technology, Obninsk, Kaluga Region, Russia.
M. Ya. Bikbau, Nanotechnology in Cement Production [in Rus
sian], OAO Moscow Institute of Materials Science and Effective
Technology, Moscow (2008).