Applying grid nanoindentation and maximum likelihood estimation for N-A-S-H gel in geopolymer paste: Investigation and discussion

Elsevier BV
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Journal Article
Cement and Concrete Research, 2020, 135, pp. 106112-106112
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© 2020 Elsevier Ltd Static nanoindentation and Maximum Likelihood Estimation (MLE) were applied for the nano/micromechanical properties investigation of alkali-activated fly ash (AAFA) in this study. Some critical issues of statistical nanoindentation were fully discussed, including properties of pure gel phase, influence of bin size when using least-square estimation (LSE), and suitable number of components for deconvolution. Results indicate that the model estimated by MLE method can effectively reflect the micromechanical distribution of AAFA. The number of components needed to separate sodium aluminosilicate hydrate (N-A-S-H) gels is sometimes more than the normally used 3 or 4, depending on the sample and testing factors. The gel phase does not always display as a prominent peak in the histogram and is easy to be mixed with other adjacent peaks even if the bin size is small, indicating the challenges of employing the LSE method to investigate the gel phase in highly heterogeneous materials, such as geopolymer.
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