Rheology and Printability of Cementitious Mixtures

Interdisciplinary Areas: Smart City, Infrastructure, Transportation, Future Manufacturing, Power, Energy, and the Environment, Others

Project Description

Additive manufacturing (3D printing) of concrete structures will be critical in the coming decades to address the anticipated shortage of affordable housing as well as allow for construction projects in remote areas. To create cement-based structures with sufficient strength and service life, it is crucial to understand and ultimately predict the flow behavior and printability of fresh cementitious mixtures from knowledge of mixture compositions and printing parameters. To uncover these important processing-structure-property relationships, this project will utilize a combination of rheological experiments and simulations to determine how non-Newtonian characteristics of fresh cementitious mixtures (including yielding, creep and relaxation, shear thinning, thixotropy) will manifest in the fresh and cured properties of 3D-printed structures. A variety of rheo-physical measurements will be utilized, inspired by previous work with self-assembling polymeric materials (Erk) and printable cementitious mixtures (Olek).

Start Date

Summer or Fall 2022

Postdoctoral Requirements

The ideal candidate for this position will have a Ph.D. in Materials Science and Engineering, Civil Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering or a related field, and research experience with one or more of the following: rheology, rheo-physical measurements, cement-based materials, polymer science, additive manufacturing/3D printing, fluid dynamics, computational simulations. Must demonstrate excellent communication skills in the form of published papers and conference presentations. Some prior experience with rheo-physical experiments or fluid dynamic simulations is preferred.


Kendra Erk
School of Materials Engineering
Website: https://soft-material-mechanics.squarespace.com/

Jan Olek
Lyles School of Civil Engineering
Website: https://engineering.purdue.edu/CE/People/ptProfile?resource_id=2108


F. Rodriguez, J. Olek, R. Moini, P. Zavattieri, and J. Youngblood, “Linking the Solids Content and Flow Properties of Mortar to their 3D-Printing Characteristics”, ACI Materials Journal – Special Issue on Advances in Rheology and Additive Manufacturing. Forthcoming 2021.

B. Bose, C.R. Davis, and K.A. Erk, “Microstructural refinement of cement paste internally cured by polyacrylamide composite hydrogel particles containing silica fume and nanosilica,” Cement and Concrete Research, 143, 106400 (2021). doi: 10.1016/j.cemconres.2021.106400

E.A. Caicedo-Casso, J.E. Bice, L.R. Nielsen, J.L. Sargent, S. Lindberg, and K.A. Erk, “Rheo-physical characterization of microstructure and flow behavior of concentrated surfactant solutions,” Rheological Acta (special issue on Novel Trends in Rheology), 58, 467-482 (2019). doi: 10.1007/s00397-019-01147-x

L.R. Murray, J.E. Bice, E.G. Soltys, C. Perge, S. Manneville, and K.A. Erk, "Influence of adsorbed and non-adsorbed polymer additives on the viscosity of magnesium oxide suspensions," Journal of Applied Polymer Science, 135 (3), 45696 (2018). doi: 10.1002/app.45696

T. Thornell, B. Helfrecht, S. Mullen, A. Bawiskar, and K.A. Erk, "Fracture-healing kinetics of thermoreversible physical gels quantified by shear rheophysical experiments," ACS Macro Letters, 3, 1069-1073 (2014) doi: 10.1021/mz500524d