E. Masoero, M. Bauchy, E. Del Gado, H. Manzano, R. M. Pellenq, F.-J. Ulm and S. Yip
10th International Conference on Mechanics and Physics of Creep, Shrinkage ...
Publication year: 2015

The logarithmic deviatoric creep of cement paste is a technical and scientific challenge. Transition State Theory (TST) indicates that some nanoscale mechanisms of shear deformation, associated with a specific kind of strain hardening, can explain the type of deviatoric creep observed experimentally in mature cement pastes. To test this possible explanation, we simulate the shear deformations of a colloidal model of cement hydrates at the nanoscale. Results from quasi-static simulations indicate a strain hardening analogous to that postulated by the TST approach. Additional results from oscillatory shear (fatigue) simulations show an increase of deformation with number of loading cycles that is consistent with the observed creep. These findings indicate that nanoscale simulations can improve our current understanding of the mechanisms underlying creep, with potential to go beyond the logarithmic creep and explore the onset of failure during tertiary creep.