Reactive Molecular Dynamics Simulations to Understand Mechanical Response of Thaumasite under Temperature and Strain Rate Effects

S Hajilar and B Shafei and T Cheng and A Jaramillo-Botero, JOURNAL OF PHYSICAL CHEMISTRY A, 121, 4688-4697 (2017).

DOI: 10.1021/acs.jpca.7b02824

Understanding the structural, thermal, and mechanical properties of thaumasite is of great interest to the cement industry, mainly because it is the phase responsible for the aging and deterioration of civil infrastructures made of cementitious materials attacked by external sources of sulfate. Despite the importance, effects of temperature and strain rate on the mechanical response of thaumasite had remained unexplored prior to the current study, in which the mechanical properties of thaumasite are fully characterized using the reactive molecular dynamics (RMD) method. With employing a first-principles based reactive force field, the RMD simulations enable the description of bond dissociation and formation under realistic conditions. From the stress strain curves of thaumasite generated in the x, y, and z directions, the tensile strength, Young's Modulus, and fracture strain are determined for the three orthogonal directions. During the course of each simulation, the chemical bonds undergoing tensile deformations are monitored to reveal the bonds responsible for the mechanical strength of thaumasite. The temperature increase is found to accelerate the bond breaking rate and consequently the degradation of mechanical properties of thaumasite, while the strain rate only leads to a slight enhancement of them for the ranges considered in this study.

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