A Marie Sklodowska Curie European Training Network under Horizon 2020
Excellence in research
NanoHeal brings together top academic groups and industrial research labs spanning a wide range of disciplines and expertise, companies with direct interest in the production of concrete and end users providing cases for specialised applications. The expertise available in NanoHeal covers state of the art experimental, computational and theoretical techniques, and brings together physicists, chemists, materials scientists, engineers and industrialists working on a common theme. This collective expertise enables us to tackle the most challenging problems from a bottom up approach, covering all the relevant length scales from nanometer to millimetres. The interpretation of millimetre length scale experiments using nanoscale data is not trivial. NanoHeal will provide a route to establish a link between length scales
Excellence in education
NanoHeal is designed to integrate partners from different disciplines and between academic and industry sectors in order to build a training and research environment that is much stronger than any single group within the network. Insights, methods and knowledge accumulated in one discipline or sector travel very slowly to other sectors and disciplines. The NanoHeal network will train young researchers in speeding up cross-fertilisation between disciplines and sectors. This will be very valuable for the careers of the research fellows. The fundamental knowledge and experience acquired by the research fellows in the network will also be applied to real scientific needs identified.
Natural or artificial, cement materials are of key importance to the society. They play a key role in every aspect of our lives, housing, buildings, transport, etc. However, cement production contributes up to 5% to anthropogenic CO2 emissions, showing a clear need to develop more environmentally friendly approaches to produce “low CO2” concrete. These developments will also benefit health care where there is a great need of new biocompatible cementitious materials. Natural cements like limestone, with high carbonate content, have been widely used in construction, monuments and sculptures. These carbonate materials are prone to damage, e.g., by salt crystallisation, endangering the European cultural heritage. The properties of carbonate materials are also of key importance in the oil industry, because they often constitute the oil reservoirs, which are prone to creep, especially during injection of water or CO2 to enhance oil recovery, as well as in permanent CO2 storage solution.
Therefore, understanding the strength of man made and natural cement material is a problem of great relevance to the European Society, with huge implications to our environment, monuments and buildings. NanoHeal targets this problem by creating a European Training Network (ETN) with 6 top European industrial and 6 academic groups, working together in an emerging interdisciplinary field with elements spanning from basic sciences (physics, chemistry, earth sciences) to the corresponding engineering disciplines (material science, civil engineering, petroleum engineering). NanoHeal will deliver an outstanding environment for training and career development of highly trained mobile researchers for the European market.
NanoHeal’s focuses on the investigation of the strength of cemented aggregate materials like concrete and sedimentary rocks. Recent evidence shows that the nano-confinement at the mineral interfaces drastically changes nucleation and growth at the adjacent solid surfaces. Experimental observations cannot be predicted with the classical theories, indicating the need for improved concepts, theories and models. Furthermore, there is recent evidence that organic molecules play an important role in controlling self-healing of mineral aggregates through. New cements with different chemistry, microstructure and mechanical properties call for a fundamental approach to cement strength that may be applied to particular applications. These scientific, industrial and societal challenges will be addressed through the following aims:
- to develop innovative probes and models for nanoscale processes that open novel perspectives in design and control of organo-mineral materials.
- to measure and improve the strength and durability of 1) new man-made cemented materials like “green concrete”, speciality cements in construction and oil and gas recovery, and biocompatible implants and 2) natural sedimentary rocks inside reservoirs and as construction materials
- to educate young interdisciplinary researchers at the intersectoral interface between fundamental science and European industry.
Action acronym: NanoHeal
Action full title: "Nano-tailoring organo-mineral materials - Controlling strength and healing with organic molecules in mineral interfaces"
Grant agreement no: 642976
Duration: 1 January 2015 -31 December 2018
Funding: MSCA-ITN-2014-ETN: Maria Skłodowska- Curie Innovative Training Networks
Total budget: € 4,103,527.68
Prof. Dag Kristian Dysthe