Date of Award


Document Type

Masters Thesis

Degree Name


Organizational Unit

Daniel Felix Ritchie School of Engineering and Computer Science

First Advisor

Davor Balzar, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Daniel Armentrout

Third Advisor

Maceij Kumosa


Calorimetry, Cement hydration, Compressive strength, Nano silica, Scanning electron microscopy, X-ray diffraction


With the advent of nano technology, materials have been developed that can be applied to high performance concrete mix designs. Nano silica reacts with calcium hydroxide (CH) to develop more of the strength carrying structure of cement: calcium silica hydrate (CSH). In this paper, relationships have been developed to distinguish the benefits when using different sizes of nano silica in cement paste. An extensive regime of experimental analysis was carried out to determine the effect of nano silica. Through these experiments the heat of hydration of multiple cement mix designs was measured. After that, the concentration of CH was recorded through X-ray diffraction. Then, the grain structures were examined through scanning electron microscopy. Finally, the compressive strength was determined for each cement paste mixture. Through these experiments it was found that as the silica particles decreased in size and their size distribution broadened, the CSHs became more rigid; this increased the compressive strength.

Publication Statement

Copyright is held by the author. User is responsible for all copyright compliance.

Rights Holder

Jonathan Samuel Belkowitz


Received from ProQuest

File Format




File Size

49 p.


Materials Science, Civil engineering