Research Areas

[1] Sustainable Infrastructure Materials

Concrete is the most widely used construction material on earth, and yet this is one of the biggest emitter of CO2 (read more from this BBC report). Reducing this carbon footprint would require reducing the consumption volume of Ordinary Portland Cement (OPC) in concrete.
In our research team, we try to (i) develop and understand low-carbon cementitious systems that can be used as an alternative to OPC and (ii) use industrial by-products as supplementary cementitious materials (SCM) to partially replace OPC in concrete.

Selected publications:

  1. Khan, R. I.* & Ashraf, W. 2019. “Effects of ground wollastonite on cement hydration kinetics and strength development”, Construction and Building Materials, Volume 218, 150-161. Link

  2. Ashraf, W., Sahu, S., & Olek, J. 2019. “Phase evolution and strength development during carbonation of low-lime calcium silicate cement (CSC)”.Construction and Building Materials, Volume 210, 473-482. Link

  3. Ashraf, W., & Olek, J. 2018. “Carbonation activated binders from pure calcium silicates: Reaction kinetics and performance controlling factors”, Cement and Concrete Composites, 93, 85-98.Link 

[2] Durability of Cement-based Materials

Durability of materials significantly affects the life cycle cost of infrastructures. Our goal is to enhance the longevity of materials by affording new insights on the damage mechanism and by incorporating novel materials and techniques in construction.

Selected publications:

  1. Ashraf, W., Glinicki, M. & Olek, J. 2018. “Statistical analysis and probabilistic design approach for freeze-thaw performance of ordinary portland cement concrete”, ASCE Journal of Materials in Civil Engineering, 30(11). Link

  2. Olek, J., Janusz, A., Jain, J., & Ashraf, W. “Investigation of anti-icing chemicals and their interactions with pavement concretes”, Joint Transportation Research Program Technical Report No. FHWA/IN/JTRP-2013/24, Department of Transportation and Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana, USA.

 [3] Advanced experimental techniques

We frequently use advanced experimental techniques to understand chemomechanical properties of materials at nano-to-micro scale. Such techniques are helpful to understand the mechanism of materials’ degradation and/ or evolution under specific environmental conditions.

Selected publications:

  1. Ashraf, W. 2018. “Microstructure of chemically activated of gamma-dicalcium silicate paste”, Construction and Building Materials, 185, 617 – 627. Link

  2. Ashraf, W., Olek, J., & Jain, J. 2017. “Microscopic features of carbonated calcium silicate paste and mortar”, Cement and Concrete Research, 100, 361 – 372. Link

  3. Ashraf, W., Olek, J. & Tian, N. 2016. “Multiscale characterization of carbonated wollastonite paste and application of homogenization schemes to predict its bulk elastic modulus”, Cement & Concrete Composites, 72, 284-298. Link