Concretes with engineered thermal expansion coefficients, capable of avoiding failure or irreversible destruction of structures or devices, are important for civil engineering applications, such as dams, bridges, and buildings. In natural materials, thermal expansion usually cannot be easily regulated and an extremely low thermal expansion coefficient (TEC) is still uncommon. Here we propose a novel cementitious composite, doped with ZrW2
, showing a wide range of tunable thermal expansion coefficients, from 8.65 × 10−6
to 2.48 × 10−6
. Macro-scale experiments are implemented to quantify the evolution of the thermal expansion coefficients, compressive and flexural strength over a wide range of temperature. Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) imaging was conducted to quantify the specimens’ microstructural characteristics including pores ratio and size. It is shown that the TEC of the proposed composites depends on the proportion of ZrW2
and the ambient curing temperature. Macro-scale experimental results and microstructures have a good agreement. The TEC and strength gradually decrease as ZrW2
increases from 0% to 20%, subsequently fluctuates until 60%. The findings reported here provide a new routine to design cementitious composites with tunable thermal expansion for a wide range of engineering applications.
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