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Creators/Authors contains: "Neithalath, Narayanan"

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  6. Limestone calcined clay cement (LC3) is a sustainable alternative to ordinary Portland cement, capable of reducing the binder’s carbon footprint by 40% while satisfying all key performance metrics. The inherent compositional heterogeneity in select components of LC3, combined with their convoluted chemical interactions, poses challenges to conventional analytical models when predicting mechanical properties. Although some studies have employed machine learning (ML) to predict the mechanical properties of LC3, many have overlooked the pivotal role of feature selection. Proper feature selection not only refines and simplifies the structure of ML models but also enhances these models’ prediction performance and interpretability. This research harnesses the power of the random forest (RF) model to predict the compressive strength of LC3. Three feature reduction methods—Pearson correlation, SHapley Additive exPlanations, and variable importance—are employed to analyze the influence of LC3 components and mixture design on compressive strength. Practical guidelines for utilizing these methods on cementitious materials are elucidated. Through the rigorous screening of insignificant variables from the database, the RF model conserves computational resources while also producing high-fidelity predictions. Additionally, a feature enhancement method is utilized, consolidating numerous input variables into a singular feature while feeding the RF model with richer information, resulting in a substantial improvement in prediction accuracy. Overall, this study provides a novel pathway to apply ML to LC3, emphasizing the need to tailor ML models to cement chemistry rather than employing them generically.

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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available October 1, 2024
  7. This paper analyzes the effect of print layer heights and loading direction on the compressive response of plain and fiber-reinforced (steel or basalt fiber) 3D printed concrete. Slabs with three different layer heights (6, 13, and 20 mm) are printed, and extracted cubes are subjected to compression (i) along the direction of printing, (ii) along the direction of layer build-up, and (iii) perpendicular to the above two directions. Digital image correlation (DIC) is used as a non-contact means to acquire the strain profiles. While the 3D printed specimens show lower strengths, as compared to cast specimens, when tested in all three directions, this effect can be reduced through the use of fiber reinforcement. Peak stress and peak strain-based anisotropy coefficients, which are linearly related, are used to characterize and quantify the directional dependence of peak stress and strain. Interface-parallel cracking is found to be the major failure mechanism, and anisotropy coefficients increase with an increase in layer height, which is attributable to the increasing significance of interfacial defects. Thus, orienting the weaker interfaces appropriately, through changes in printing direction, or strengthening them through material modifications (such as fiber reinforcement) or process changes (lower layer height, enables attainment of near-isotropy in 3D printed concrete elements.

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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available August 1, 2024