Roads and Bridges - Drogi i Mosty
2, 3, 2003, 43-72

Material structures of cement - based composites

Andrzej M. Brandt Mail
Institute of Fundamental Technological Research Polish Academy of Sciences


The term “structure of a material” covers the distribution of its components in space and the set of relations between them that are characteristic for the whole structure. The characterization of a material structure is also completed by data on the properties of the components. The description of a material structure may be based either on assumptions related to an idealized perfect structure or on an analysis of a real structure. In most cases, both approaches are considered and their results are combined. The differences between these two approaches are caused by deviations from ideal models and by local imperfections. The homogeneity of a material is often assumed as an approximation at a given level of analysis and when a material at lower level is considered then its heterogeneous nature becomes obvious. When the models of materials at various levels are built, they are interrelated in a systematic way, or more precisely, the models on a considered level are deduced from the results observed at a lower level. All composite materials, including concrete, are heterogeneous by definition. There is no one generally accepted classification of composites according to their structures. Composites used for construction may be described in terms of the matrix that is the continuous phase, and inclusions – which are embedded in the matrix. Usually, the structures are composed of inclusions strengthen the matrix (reinforcing inclusions: grains, fibres), but also fillers of low strength are used to enhance other properties e.g., thermal insulation, lower weight, etc. The main aim of analysis of the structure of the hardened concrete by all methods is to record the structural defects. Their analysis allows to define how serious and dangerous the defects are with respect to safety and serviceability of the concrete construction. It is also possible to determine the origin and reasons of the defects. The paper presents a survey of the structures of cement-based composites. Structure determines the final material properties. The analysis of structure of a hardened concrete is the basic approach to satisfy the requirements for Quality Assurance and Quality Control of civil engineering constructions made of ordinary and high performance concretes.

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Material structures of cement - based composites

Brandt, Andrzej M.. Material structures of cement - based composites. Roads and Bridges - Drogi i Mosty, [S.l.], v. 2, n. 3, p. 43-72, dec. 2014. ISSN 2449-769X. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 29 Oct. 2020.