Commission cites need to investigate cement's molecular properties

11/13/2011 |

The federal commission investigating the BP oil spill noted problems using cement to seal ocean-based wells, and, separately, a team of scientists is examining cement's molecular properties and the possibility of developing more reliable mixtures. "It's pretty amazing that, given the importance of it, not a lot of scientific study has been done of cement," says Brad Chmelka, a chemical engineering professor at the University of California, Santa Barbara. "We're asking it to do things in extreme conditions that it wasn't designed to do and isn't optimized for."

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