Jeffrey W. Bullard, Chiara F. Ferraris, Edward J. Garboczi, Nicos Martys, Paul E. Stutzman, Judith E. Terrill
Design and optimization of cement or concrete mixes typically is accomplished by intensive trial-and-error experimentation, primarily because the design space has many parameters and because interactions between these parameters are incompletely understood. This chapter describes an integrated package of computer-modeling software, called the Virtual Cement and Concrete Laboratory (VCCTL), which enables a rapid exploration of the design space at significantly reduced cost. The VCCTL models are based on many years of research at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and are being further improved and extended through research performed by the NIST/Industry VCCTL Consortium. The software package presently addresses materials characterization, hydration/curing, rheology, elasticity, and transport properties. Ongoing research within the VCCTL consortium is pursuing the goal of predicting durability and service life. All this computational work is aided by three-dimensional, quantitative scientific visualization of model outputs. Finally, an educational version, eVCCTL, will be beta tested at a few universities in 2008, with full release of the software in 2009.