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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. Borno, I. B., Haque, M. I.  & Ashraf, W., 2023, Crystallization of C-S-H and C-A-S-H in artificial seawater at ambient temperature, Cement and Concrete Research, 173, 107292, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cemconres.2023.107292

  2. Tahsin, A. Siddique, S., Ashraf, W., Sattler, M., 2023. “Assessment of the durability and environmental impact of seawater-activated portlandite-calcined clay binder.” Journal of Sustainable Cement-Based Materials, 1-13,  https://doi.org/10.1080/21650373.2023.2243480  

  3. Borno, I. B. & Ashraf, W. 2023. “Effects of co-calcining kaolinite-rich clay blends with alkali and alkali earth metal hydroxides.” Applied Clay Science, 231, 106742.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.clay.2022.106742

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[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. Haque, M. I.  Borno, I. B., Khan, R. I., & Ashraf, W., 2023, “Reducing carbonation degradation and enhancing elastic properties of calcium silicate hydrates using biomimetic molecules,” Cement and Concrete Composites, 136, 104888. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cemconcomp.2022.104888

  2. Khan, R. I.*, Haque, M. I. *, Siddque, S.*, Landis, E., Ashraf, W. # 2023. “Effects of amino acids on the multiscale properties of carbonated wollastonite composites.” Construction and Building Materials, 374, 130816. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.conbuildmat.2023.130816 

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 [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. Khan, R. I., Haque, M. I., Ashraf, W., Shah, S., Saleh, N. 2022, “Role of biopolymers in enhancing multiscale characteristics of carbonation-cured cementitious composites.” Cement and Concrete Composites, 104766. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cemconcomp.2022.104766

  2. Borno, I. B., Haque, M. I.  & Ashraf, W., 2023, Crystallization of C-S-H and C-A-S-H in artificial seawater at ambient temperature, Cement and Concrete Research, 173, 107292, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cemconres.2023.107292

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