Research Activities: 2012

Nano-Engineered Polyurethane Resin - Modified Concrete

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Sequential Number R345
Identification Number 00042529
Matching Research Agency

Missouri University of Science & Technology

Principal Investigator

K. Chandrashekhara
Curators’ Professor, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
Missouri University of Science and Technology
Rolla, MO 65409
(573) 341-4587

Student Involvement

One graduate student


Project Objective
The goal of the proposed work is to investigate the application of nanoengineered polyurethane (NEPU) emulsions for Latex modified concrete (LMC). The use of biobased NEPU emulsion for LMC application will also be investigated.

Project Abstract
Latex modified concrete (LMC), also known as polymer portland cement
concrete refers to hydraulic cement mixed with organic polymers that are either dispersed or redispersed in water. The dispersion of polymers in water is sometimes referred to as emulsions.
When polymer emulsions are mixed with portland cement concrete, the polymer particles come together to form a polymer film coating on aggregate particles and cement grains, and seals any voids or microcracks. The resulting mixture of polymer emulsion and portland cement concrete
will have higher strength, high resistance to chloride penetration and is more inert to chemical attack than plain cement. One of the weak links in a cement-aggregate composite material is the bond between the matrix and the aggregates. To improve the performance of the alternative cement binder (ACB), the research team will develop a NEPU resin to act as an intermediary between the aggregates and the ACB matrix. The NEPU will be used to precoat the aggregates prior to their placement within the ACB matrix. Embedded within the NEPU will be grains of the ACB. Then, when combined with the ACB and water, the unhydrated ACB particles
embedded within the NEPU-coated aggregates will react with the surrounding matrix during hydration, providing an enhanced interfacial zone and corresponding improvement in the material properties of the hardened material. In the proposed work, the used of bio-based NEPU
emulsion for LMC application will also be investigated. The characterization of NEPU including cure kinetics, rheology, UV resistance, and flame resistance will be conducted. The proposed NEPU-modified concrete will be subjected to physical and mechanical testing. The optimal composition of NEPU system will be investigated for determining the percentage by weight of nano-clay and soy-content.

Relationship to other Research/Projects

Missouri S&T has prior experience with developing a soy-based resin system for manufacturing bio-based composites. A novel soy-based PU resin system was developed for manufacturing polyurethane (PU) composites. Novel soy-based PU composites manufactured in this work can be used as an alternative to the conventional petroleum based PU composites. Also, in the previous work at Missouri S&T, a commercially
available sodium montmorillonite (Na-MMT) clay was modified with methyl
triethanolammonium salt using ion exchange process to make it compatible with the PU resin system. Nanocomposites were synthesized using the PU resin systems, Na-MMT and modified MMT clay. The soy-based nano-engineered PU composites showed comparable properties to
that of commercial PU resin system and is observed to be a viable alternative to the conventional petroleum based PU. The addition of Na-MMT clay in PU resin system increased its mechanical properties and also flame resistance.


Transportation-Related Keywords

Latex modified concrete, alternative cement binder, polymer portland cement concrete

Technology Transfer Activities

The research team will work with the Technology Transfer and
Economic Development Center (TTED) on the Missouri S&T campus to develop a marketing plan and subsequent commercialization of the products that will stem from the research project.
The proposed work will be disseminated through technical conferences and journal publications.

Project Deliverables

Synthesis and characterization of polyurethane (PU) resin, exfoliation of
nano materials into PU/soy-PU resin, evaluation of physical and mechanical properties of NEPU/bio-based NEPU system, composition optimization of NEPU system.

Anticipated Benefits

LMC product with high strength, high workability, high durability to
aggressive environments, and inert to chemical attack.


Project Start Date: 05/01/2013
Project End Date: