Predesigning matrix-directed super-hydrophobization and hierarchical strengthening of cement foam

Wei She (Lead / Corresponding author), Zhihao Zheng, Qunchao Zhang, Wenqiang Zuo, Jingxian Yang, Yunsheng Zhang, Li Zheng, Jinxiang Hong, Changwen Miao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

63 Citations (Scopus)


The thermodynamically unstable nature of aqueous foam is a challenging problem for fabrication of ultra-lightweight foamed cement-based materials. Such materials are also facing many durability problems due to their hydrophilic property and porous microstructure. In this study, a matrix superhydrophobic cement foam with high specific strength was developed by a one-step process. The rational tomographic and chemical properties of the border-air interfaces of cement foam were simultaneously modified by a nanohybrid method, in which the nano silica was grafted with water repellent functional group, promoting the adsorption of nano silica onto the air-liquid interfaces. The joint effect of increased multi-scale roughness and hydrophilization of the interfaces produced bulk superhydrophobic cement foam, which revealed excellent mechanical robustness even upon major surface damage. Such foamed cement is of great importance for industrial thermal insulation applications, and potentially provide a solution to the long-standing durability problems of cement based porous materials.

Original languageEnglish
Article number106029
Number of pages11
JournalCement and Concrete Research
Early online date11 Mar 2020
Publication statusPublished - May 2020


  • Foamed cement
  • Hierarchical structure
  • Interfacial modification
  • Nanohybrid
  • Robust superhydrophobic

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Building and Construction
  • General Materials Science


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