Vast progress in concrete science is to be expected in coming years by the adaptation of new knowledge generated by growing field of nanotechnology. Vicon has written additional significant patents covering our past 10 years of nano science material applications. Nanoengineering of concrete; incorporating diverse nano-materials is considered a very promising direction to control the long term performance of cement-based materials and Vicon has leading innovations coming to market now. http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11709-016-0343-0 see latest Nano Engineering Publication by Vicon Nano Scientist Dr. Konstantin Sobolev
The electrical and mechanical properties of developed materials will be fine-tuned by the incorporation of nano-materials (nano-particles and nano-tubes). For example, inorganic particles such as silica fume and nano-silica can be used to increase the electrical resistance of cement based materials, and the incorporation of small volumes of nano-tubes would improve the conductivity. Under compressive stress the conductivity of developed materials will be improved and tensile stress will result in reduction of conductivity. The changes in the electrical properties due to development of cracks or stress zones will lead to the disturbance of the transmitted signal and, therefore, can be detected.
VICON further develops self-healing polymer/cement matrix nanocomposites similar to polymer-micro balloon or polymer hollow fiber microcomposites known to be self healing due to the flow of fluid from fracturing microballoons or hollow fibers into the crack and solidifying as a result of reaction with the matrix. Such self-healing nanocomposite materials are considered to be the backbone of future “smart” coatings and paints.
Nanoscale materials have far larger surface areas than similar masses of larger-scale materials. As surface area per mass of a material increases, a greater amount of the material can come into contact with surrounding materials, thus affecting reactivity.
A simple thought experiment shows why nanoparticles have phenomenally high surface areas. A solid cube of a material 1 cm on a side has 6 square centimeters of surface area, about equal to one side of half a stick of gum. But if that volume of 1 cubic centimeter were filled with cubes 1 mm on a side, that would be 1,000 millimeter-sized cubes (10 x 10 x 10), each one of which has a surface area of 6 square millimeters, for a total surface area of 60 square centimeters—about the same as one side of two-thirds of a 3” x 5” note card. When the 1 cubic centimeter is filled with micrometer-sized cubes—a trillion (1012) of them, each with a surface area of 6 square micrometers—the total surface area amounts to 6 square meters, or about the area of the main bathroom in an average house. And when that single cubic centimeter of volume is filled with 1-nanometer-sized cubes—1021 of them, each with an area of 6 square nanometers—their total surface area comes to 6,000 square meters. In other words, a single cubic centimeter of cubic nanoparticles has a total surface area one-third larger than a football field!