Specimen preparation for nano-scale investigation of cementitious repair material




Azarsa, Pejman
Gupta, Rishi

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Cementitious Repair Materials (CRMs) in the construction industry have been used for many decades now and has become a very important part of activities in cement world. The performance of some of these CRMs when applied to retrofitting concrete structural elements is also well documented. However, the characterization of some of the CRMs at the micro- and nano level is not fully documented. The first step to studying materials at the microscopic level is to be able to fabricate proper specimens for microscopy. In this study, a special and newly developed class of CRM was selected and fabricated by Focused Ion Beam (FIB) using well-known “Lift-out” technique. The prepared specimen was later examined using various analytical techniques such as energy dispersive x-ray analysis using one of the highest and most stable Scanning Transmission Electron Holography Microscopy (STEHM) around the world. This process enabled understanding of the composition, morphology, and spatial distribution of various phases of the CRM. It was observed that the microstructure consisted of a very fine, compact, and homogenous amorphous structure. X-ray analysis indicated that there was considerable deviation between the Si/Ca ratios for the hydrated product.



Specimen preparation, Focused ion beam, Cementitious materials, Scanning Transmission Electron Holography, Microscopy (STEHM), Electron diffraction pattern


Azarsa, P. & Gupta, R. (2018). Specimen preparation for nano-scale investigation of cementitious repair material. Micron, 107, 43-54. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.micron.2018.01.007.