Researchers to analyse superabsorbent polymers in construction

A Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU) expert in intelligent construction materials has been invited by the Institute of Concrete Technology to host a conference examining the potential for new ‘smart’, crack-free concrete and mortars for the construction industry.

Despite their worldwide popularity as construction materials, mortars and concrete suffer from various deteriorative processes.

GCU Reader in Construction Materials and Fellow of the Institute of Concrete Technology, Dr Agnieszka Klemm has conducted significant research, and published over 20 journal articles, focusing on the development of materials modified by superabsorbent polymers (SAP).

SAP are novel materials which can be used as internal curing agents in concrete and mortars. Their high capacity to absorb and release water can help to control cement hydration processes and hence avoid cracking.

Dr Klemm analyses the application and effects of SAP in cement, and illustrates their efficiency by comparing experimental results of mortars with and without SAP.

She has published her work in Concrete Plant International’s Concrete Technology journal, detailing the benefits of SAP to the construction industry. Dr Klemm found that autogenous shrinkage is clearly reduced by SAP, decreasing cracking susceptibility and leading to production of more durable and sustainable concrete materials.

Dr Klemm’s research will be presented at the workshop, ‘Application of Superabsorbent Polymers in Concrete Construction’, held at GCU London on June 6.

Dr Klemm will be joined by speakers including Professor Peter Hewlett, Director of Research and Development at David Ball Group Ltd, Dr Christof Schroefl of Technische Universität Dresden, Dr Didier Snoeck of Ghent University, Dr Karol Sikora of Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University and GCU PhD researcher Fernando Almeida.

To register for the conference, contact Edwin Trout at ict(Replace this parenthesis with the @ sign)