BUILDABILITY AND MECHANICAL PERFORMANCE OF ARCHITECTURED CEMENT-BASED MATERIALS FABRICATED USING A DIRECT-INK-WRITING PROCESS
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Additive Manufacturing (AM) allows for the creation of elements with novel forms and functions. Utilizing AM in development of components of civil infrastructure allows for achieving more advanced, innovative, and unique performance characteristics. The research presented in this dissertation is focused on development of a better understanding of the fabrication challenges and opportunities in AM of cement-based materials. Specifically, challenges related to printability and opportunities offered by 3D-printing technology, including ability to fabricate intricate structures and generate unique and enhanced mechanical responses have been explored. Three aspects related to 3D-printing of cement-based materials were investigated. These aspects include: fresh stability of 3D-printed elements in relation to materials rheological properties, microstructural characteristics of the interfaces induced during the 3D-printing process, and the mechanical response of 3D-printed elements with bio-inspired design of the materials’ architecture. This research aims to contribute to development of new pathways to obtain stability in freshly 3D-printed elements by determining the rheological properties of material that control the ability to fabricate elements in a layer-by-layer manner, followed by the understanding of the microstructural features of the 3D-printed hardened cement paste elements including the interfaces and the pore network. This research also introduces a new approach to enhance the mechanical response of the 3D-printed elements by controlling the spatial arrangement of individual filaments (i.e., materials’ architecture) and by harnessing the weak interfaces that are induced by the 3D-printing process.