Civil and Environmental Engineering


First Advisor

Dr. Jiong Hu

Date of this Version

Spring 4-27-2022

Document Type



Faltin, B, Performance of Concrete with Different Cement Finenesses and Nano-activators, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Lincoln, Nebraska, May 2022


A THESIS Presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College at the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the Degree of Master of Science, Major: Civil Engineering, Under the Supervision of Professor Jiong Hu. Lincoln, Nebraska: May 2022

Copyright © 2022 Brandon Faltin


The excessive shrinkage in modern concrete is the result of the construction industry in its quest to complete the job as soon as possible. In order to accomplish this, the fineness of cement was increased significantly in recent decades for a faster rate of strength gain. To combat the cement fineness and reverse the trend of shrinkage, the usage of coarse cements and nanoparticles should be strongly considered. The coarse cement is used to reduce the shrinkage of concrete, while the nanoparticle increases the early strength, alleviating the original concerns of reduced early strength when using coarse cement.

Work in this study provides enough evidence toward coarse cement and nanoparticle use being extremely beneficial to concrete. In particular, the coarse cement reduces the shrinkage, while the incorporation of nanoparticles not only improves the initial strength gain, but also further decreases the shrinkage. At the age of seven days, the mixtures using coarse cement with nanoparticles show a compressive strength greater than the Type I/II mixtures used as reference. Regarding shrinkage, the use of nanoparticles in mixtures with coarse cement outperformed the coarse cement by itself. Thus, the use of nanoparticles as an activator in coarse cement concrete is considered a viable option for applications where low shrinkage and long-term durability are desirable.

Advisor: Jiong Hu