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SAPs in focus at GCU concrete conference

Glasgow Caledonian University

Researchers to analyse superabsorbent polymers in construction at workshop in London

A GLASGOW Caledonian University (GCU) expert in intelligent construction materials has been invited by the Institute of Concrete Technology to host a conference examining the potential for new, ‘smart’, crack-free concrete and mortars for the construction industry.

Despite their worldwide popularity as construction materials, it is well known that mortars and concrete can suffer from various deteriorative processes.


Dr Agnieszka Klemm, GCU reader in construction materials and Fellow of the Institute of Concrete Technology, has conducted significant research, and published more than 20 journal articles, focusing on the development of materials modified by superabsorbent polymers (SAPs).

SAPs are novel materials which can be used as internal curing agents in concrete and mortars. Their high capacity to absorb and release water can help to control cement hydration processes and hence avoid cracking.

Dr Klemm analyses the application and effects of SAPs in cement, and illustrates their efficiency by comparing experimental results of mortars with and without them.

Detailing the benefits of SAPs to the construction industry, Dr Klemm has found that autogenous shrinkage is clearly reduced by their inclusion, decreasing cracking susceptibility and leading to production of more durable and sustainable concrete materials.

Dr Klemm’s research will be presented at the workshop: ‘Application of Superabsorbent Polymers in Concrete Construction’, being held at GCU London on 6 June 2016.

Dr Klemm will be joined by other speakers including: Prof. Peter Hewlett, director of research and development at David Ball Group Ltd; Dr Christof Schroefl of Technische Universität Dresden; Dr Didier Snoeck of Ghent University; Dr Karol Sikora of Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University; and GCU PhD researcher Fernando Almeida.

To register for the conference, contact Edwin Trout at the Institute of Concrete Technology: [email protected]


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