When tested in standard Portland Cement mixtures, NAFEN™ displayed dramatic changes to the curing strength. Within the first 24 hours of curing, the cement had 50% higher compressive strength with only a 0.25% loading of NAFEN™. This type of increased strength converts to much higher productivity for a construction operation, where workers can begin a new phase of construction on fresh cement in a much shorter time.
Although tests were limited, this area of civil engineering is of great importance, as NAFEN™ potentially could be used not only as an accelerator but also to reduce/control shrinkage and cracking during the curing cycle. As NAFEN™ is hydrophilic (when untreated) it holds water longer during the hydration process of cement. This potentially will provide more even curing throughout the thickness of the cement and reduce the overheating and dehydration that causes the shrinkage and cracking to occur.
Industry experts believe that NAFEN™ can play a similar role as an accelerator and stabilizer for ultra-high performance cements, which is being looked at more and more as an area of interest in many countries around the world for civil engineering projects. The reduced volume of UHPC products versus Portland Cement is looked at as a direct means of lower CO2 emissions released during road, bridge and building construction projects.
Using concrete reinforced with alumina nanofibers could yield a usable lifetime increase for the infrastructure, with lower degradation rates than conventional solutions. The addition of nano-scale enhancers such as NAFEN will add a positive time-dependent effect, enhancing long-term durability for new construction and civil engineering projects.
Results from ANF Technology’s development partner, University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee, are below:
Nafen dispersed in cement mixture radically improves rate of strength gain
This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 685213