On nano/micro-mechanical characterisation of early aged cement paste

Wenzhong Zhu, Torsten Howind, Svetlana Guriyanova, Bernd Kummerling, Sebastian Seufert

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


The present paper summarises recent achievements and challenges discovered in the field of sample preparation and micromechanical characterisation of early aged Portland cement paste hydrated for 24 hours. Specimen preparation to preserve the weak and fragile microstructure (result of the low degree of hydration), and measures to identify and prevent restart of hydration on specimen surface during nano/micro-mechanical characterisation are discussed. It is shown that growth of hydration phases on well-polished specimen surface could occur during the nanoindentation testing period (usually from several hours to a few days), leading to erroneous/faulty test results. We also present test results of such specimens obtained using PeakForce QNM™ technique and discuss issues related to results interpretation. Peak-force tapping atomic force microscopy enables high-speed and high-resolution DMT modulus mapping of the investigated sample.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 2 Dec 2018
Event6th International Symposium on Nanotechnology in Construction - Hong Kong Science Park, Hong Kong, China
Duration: 2 Dec 20185 Dec 2018


Conference6th International Symposium on Nanotechnology in Construction
Abbreviated titleNICOM6
CityHong Kong
Internet address


  • steel slag
  • hydrothermal
  • calcium silicate hydrate
  • reinforcement
  • silicone rubber


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