A test method for determining adhesion forces and Hamaker constants of cementitious materials using atomic force microscopy

Gilson Lomboy, Sriram Sundararajan, Kejin Wang, Shankar Subramaniam

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34 Scopus citations


A method for determining Hamaker constant of cementitious materials is presented. The method involved sample preparation, measurement of adhesion force between the tested material and a silicon nitride probe using atomic force microscopy in dry air and in water, and calculating the Hamaker constant using appropriate contact mechanics models. The work of adhesion and Hamaker constant were computed from the pull-off forces using the Johnson-Kendall-Roberts and Derjagin-Muller-Toropov models. Reference materials with known Hamaker constants (mica, silica, calcite) and commercially available cementitious materials (Portland cement (PC), ground granulated blast furnace slag (GGBFS)) were studied. The Hamaker constants of the reference materials obtained are consistent with those published by previous researchers. The results indicate that PC has a higher Hamaker constant than GGBFS. The Hamaker constant of PC in water is close to the previously predicted value C3S, which is attributed to short hydration time (≤ 45 min) used in this study.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1157-1166
Number of pages10
JournalCement and Concrete Research
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1 2011


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Building and Construction
  • Materials Science(all)

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