DOI: 10.3390/coatings14020218 ISSN: 2079-6412

The Influence of TiO2 Nanoparticles on the Physico–Mechanical and Structural Characteristics of Cementitious Materials

Carmen T. Florean, Horatiu Vermesan, Gyorgy Thalmaier, Bogdan V. Neamtu, Timea Gabor, Cristina Campian, Andreea Hegyi, Alexandra Csapai
  • Materials Chemistry
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Surfaces and Interfaces

The urgent need for sustainable construction that corresponds to the three pillars of sustainable development is obvious and continuously requires innovative solutions. Cementitious composites with TiO2 nanoparticles (NT) addition show potential due to their improved durability, physico–mechanical characteristics, and self-cleaning capacity. This study aimed to evaluate the influence of NT on cementitious composites by comparing those with 2%–5% nanoparticles with a similar control sample without nanoparticles, as well as an analysis of cost growth. The experimental results showed an increase in bulk density of the material (4.7%–7.4%), reduction in large pore sizes by min. 12.5%, together with an increase in cumulative volume and cumulative specific surface area of small pore sizes, indicating densification of the material, also supported by SEM, EDS, and XRD analyses indicating acceleration of cement hydration processes with formation of specific products. The changes at microstructural level support the experimental results obtained at macrostructural level, i.e., modest but existent increases in flexural strength (0.6%–7.9%) and compressive strength (0.2%–2.6%) or more significant improvements in abrasion resistance (8.2%–58%) and reduction in water absorption coefficient (37.5%–81.3%). Following the cost–benefit analysis, it was concluded that, for the example case considered of a pedestrian pavement with a surface area of 100 m2, using 100 mm thick slabs, if these slabs were to be made with two layers, the lower layer made of cementitious composite as a reference and the upper layer with a thickness of 10 mm made of cementitious composite with 3% NT or 4% NT, the increase in cost would be acceptable, representing less than 15% compared to the cost for the exclusive use of cementitious composite without NT.

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