Study takes a micro-mechanics approach to understanding how water impacts fiber-wrapped concrete structures
Professors Oral Buyukozturk and Markus Buehler, doctoral student Denvid Lau and recent graduate Chakrapan Tuakta Ph.D. ’11 used molecular dynamics simulation to study how materials interact at the molecular level and recently applied it for the first time to the interface between epoxy and silica, one of the primary molecules forming concrete. Epoxy is often used to bond a stretchy supportive fabric or a thin plate made of reinforced polymer composites to concrete structures in order to increase the strength and durability of the structure. Specifically, they are interested in how this interface changes when it gets wet. The researchers hope their work will introduce a new paradigm for structural and design engineers to use when predicting the lifespan of building components and large structures. Read a news story.