Organo-modified montmorillonites (OMMT) which have been widely used in polymer/clay nano-composites are employed here as fillers and reinforcements in cement mortars. The ratio of quartz sand and cement is 2.75 while the water/cement ratios of 0.40, 0.485 and 0.55 are considered for the cement mortars we studied. Experimental results indicate that the coefficients of permeability of cement mortars could be 100 times lower if a lower dosage of OMMT micro-particles is added. At the same time, the compressive and flexural strengths of cement mortars can be even increased up to 40% and 10%, respectively. It is also found that the optimal dosage of OMMT micro-particles to give higher compressive and flexural strengths and a lower coefficient of permeability for cement mortars is less than 1%. Meanwhile, the microstructure of cement mortars is characterized by using SEM, EDS and MIP to evaluate the effects of OMMT micro-particles on the improvements of strengths and permeability of cement mortars.
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