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Preparation of Silica Nanoparticles and Its Beneficial Role in Cementitious Materials

Author(s): L. P. Singh | S. K. Agarwal | S. K. Bhattacharyya | U. Sharma | S. Ahalawat

Journal: Nanomaterials and Nanotechnology
ISSN 1847-9804

Volume: 1;
Issue: 1;
Date: 2011;
Original page

Keywords: Amorphous materials | Nano‐silica | Nanostructures | Sol‐gel chemistry

Spherical silica nanoparticles (n‐SiO2) with controllable size have been synthesized using tetraethoxysilane as starting material and ethanol as solvent by sol‐gel method. Morphology and size of the particles was controlled through surfactants. Sorbitan monolaurate, sorbitain monopalmitate and sorbitain monostearate produced silica nanoparticles of varying sizes (80‐150 nm), indicating the effect of chain length of the surfactant. Increase in chain length of non‐ionic surfactant resulted in decreasing particle size of silica nanoparticles. Further, the size of silica particles was also controlled using NH3 as base catalyst. These silica nanoparticles were incorporated into cement paste and their role in accelerating the cementitious reactions was investigated. Addition of silica nanoparticles into cement paste improved the microstructure of the paste and calcium leaching is significantly reduced as n‐SiO2 reacts with calcium hydroxide and form additional calcium‐ silicate‐hydrate (C‐S‐H) gel. It was found that calcium hydroxide content in silica nanoparticles incorporated cement paste reduced ~89% at 1 day and up to ~60% at 28 days of hydration process. Synthesized silica particles and cement paste samples were characterized using scanning electron microscopy (SEM), powder X‐ray diffraction (XRD), infrared spectroscopy (IR) and thermogravimetric analysis (TGA).
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