Application of neutron scattering to Portland cement
Portland cement concrete is actually a composite material consisting of fine and coarse stone aggregate in a matrix of hydrated calcium silicates and aluminates. The aggregate to binder mass ratio is typically 3:1. At a price of roughly 0.05 US dollars per kg, concrete is often the lowest cost material for construction, and hence it is widely used. In the United States, the annual consumption of Portland cement is approximately 80 million metric tons, or roughly 500 million metric tons of concrete. The largest single market is streets and highways which accounts for 30 percent of total consumption 1.11. Consequently, transportation agencies like the Federal Highway Administration have a major interest in research to better understand and improve this material.
Livingston, R. A., D.A. Neumann, A.J. Allen, S.A. Fitzgerald, and R. Berliner. 2000. "Application of neutron scattering to Portland cement." Neutron News 11(4): 18-24.
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Physics and Astronomy
Atomic and nuclear physics