Civil and Environmental Engineering
CE 299.03 - Environmental Weathering and Performance of Materials
New course offered Spring 2006
What it's about

This course discusses the complex time-dependent interactions that exist between the surrounding environment and the aging processes of materials and examines the chemical phenomena related to the behavior and performance of construction, building and natural materials (soil and rock). Mechanisms of material deterioration and degradation due to environmental forces (e.g. temperature changes, moisture, intermittent wetting/drying, and aggressive chemicals) are studied and issues related to the design of durable structures are discussed. Experimental and theoretical aspects of the material chemistry are considered. State-of-the art analytical techniques (e.g., scanning electron microscopy, FT-IR spectroscopy, advanced thermal analysis, nanoindentation) for characterizing materials and monitoring transformation processes in materials are also discussed. Principles applied in the course include reaction kinetics and mechanisms, complex formation, pH and solubility equilibria and adsorption phenomena. A particular emphasis is placed on durability and deterioration mechanisms of nanostructured cement-based materials and cement-based materials in general, composite materials, and natural materials.


Students conduct an independent-study project related to the material of their interest. provides access to the students of the syllabus and course information.
Instructor: Florence Sanchez