Concrete Science Research Briefs

Browse all of our concrete science related research briefs below, or explore by topic via the links in the right side bar (on desktop browsers) or at the bottom of this page (on mobile browsers).

Chart from research brief: Mechanical properties of Alkali Silica gels
Research Brief: Mechanical properties of Alkali Silica gels
August 17, 2017

Certain aggregates that are used to make concrete contain amorphous silica. This silica can react with alkalies in the cement paste pore solution and form a gel. This reaction is called alkali-...

Research Brief: Atomistic Modeling of ASR Gel
August 14, 2017

The Alkali-Silica Reaction (ASR) causes expansion and cracking in concrete which can result in structural problems in concrete infrastructure. ASR gel, formed from a chemical reaction between...

Chart image from Towards Understanding Cement Paste Creep: Implications from Glass Studies
Research Brief: Towards Understanding Cement Paste Creep
January 4, 2017

Creep is the gradual structural deformation in concrete under a load. While creep does not necessarily cause concrete to fail or break apart, it is known to impact on the durability of concrete...

Research Brief: Examining Freeze-Thaw Damage at the Microscopic Scalee
Research Brief: Examining Freeze-Thaw Damage at the Microscopic Scale
August 31, 2016

Freeze-thaw damage is a potentially serious deterioration process that occurs in concrete structures in cold climates. While it is known that using certain deicing salts can aggravate the damage,...

Chart image from research brief on ASR modeling
Research Brief: Bottom-up Modeling of ASR in Concrete
March 30, 2016

Alkali–silica reaction (ASR) occurs in some concretes between the highly alkaline pore solution and reactive silica components of certain aggregates. An alkali-silica gel forms that may expand...

Chart from Brief "The Impact of Changes to Surface Albedo on Radiative Forcing" 2015 Issue 12
Research Brief: The Impact of Changes to Surface Albedo on Radiative Forcing
January 27, 2016

The energy entering, reflected, absorbed, and emitted by the earth are components of the earth's radiative budget. Modifications to surface albedo, a measure of the solar energy the earth’s...

Concrete Science Platform Summary White Paper
Concrete Science - Phase I Summary White Paper
December 9, 2014

A new white paper summarizes the first five years of research results from the Concrete Science Platform (CSP) of the MIT Concrete Sustainability Hub. Concrete sustainability begins at the most...

Model of drying shrinkage
Concrete Science Research Brief: Modeling of Drying Shrinkage
July 7, 2014

Drying shrinkage, resulting from the action of water and dissolved ions in the various pores in cement paste, can cause substantial problems in the use of concrete, such as surface cracking. This...

Gorilla cement
Concrete Science Research Brief: Gorilla Cement: Tougher Yet Greener
May 19, 2014

Applying glass science tools to cement provides new insights into the relationship between nanoscale composition and macroscopic properties. Our analysis predicts a family of compositions at which...

Fracture toughness and material thickness
Breakthrough in Clinker Grinding
April 8, 2014

Particle size reduction is one of the most energy intensive and inefficient processes in use today. Traditional means for calculating energy requirements used for sizing equipment rely on...