Effects of zeolitic imidazolate framework-8 nanoparticles on physicomechanical properties and microstructure of limestone calcined clay cement mortar

Amin Al-Fakih*, Waleed Al-Awsh, Monther Qassim Ahmed Al-Koshab, Madyan A. Al-Shugaa, Mohammed A. Al-Osta, Q. A. Drmosh, Abubakr E.S. Musa, Marwan A. Abdulqader, Mohammed A.A. Elgzoly, Sagheer A. Onaizi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


The limitations of limestone calcined clay cement (LC3) include its low mechanical strength and high drying shrinkage, in addition to its durability, which has not been addressed well in previous studies. Therefore, the objective of the present study was to investigate the feasibility of enhancing the durability and physical and mechanical properties of LC3 mortar by incorporating zeolitic imidazolate framework-8 (ZIF-8) nanoparticles. Six mixes of LC3 mortar with 0, 0.1, 0.3, 0.5, 0.7, and 0.9 wt% ZIF-8 were prepared and tested. The microstructure of the LC3-ZIF-8 mortar was characterized using X-ray diffraction (XRD), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), and Raman spectroscopy. The optimal ZIF-8 content was 0.5 wt%, at which the workability was significantly reduced, and the tensile and flexural strengths were increased. Although the LC3-ZIF-8 mortar exhibited a lower compressive strength than the unmodified LC3 mortar, the former had higher flexural and tensile strengths because of the positive effect of ZIF-8 on promoting calcium hydroxide (CH) and monocarboaluminate (Mc). These findings were consistent with the SEM, XRD, and Raman spectroscopy results. The water absorption and drying shrinkage rates of the LC3-ZIF-8 mortar were lower than those of the unmodified LC3 mortar owing to the modification of the LC3 mortar pore structure upon the addition of ZIF-8 nanoparticles. This study provides a better insight into the feasibility of utilizing ZIF-8 nanoparticles as reinforcement for LC3-based materials.

Original languageEnglish
Article number130236
JournalConstruction and Building Materials
StatePublished - 22 Feb 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals and the Interdisciplinary Research Center for Construction and Building Materials (IRC-CBM) [grant number INCB2211 ].

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Elsevier Ltd


  • Durability
  • limestone calcined clay cement (LC)
  • Microstructure
  • Mortar
  • Nanoparticles
  • Physicomechanical properties
  • ZIF-8

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction
  • Materials Science (all)


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