Levich Institute Seminar Announcement, 09/17/2013
Tuesday, 09/17/2013
2:00 PM
Steinman Hall, Room #312
(Chemical Engineering Conference Room)

Professor George Scherer
Princeton University
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering

"Crystal Growth in Porous Media"


Crystallization of salts and ice is a major cause of the sculpting of mountains, damage to monuments, and deterioration of the civil infrastructure. This talk focuses on the mechanisms by which crystals generate stress in porous materials. Experiments indicate that nucleation is sparse and growth is impeded by the tortuosity of the pore space; consequently, the growth rate is controlled by interface attachment kinetics, rather than diffusion, which allows supersaturation to persist at the crystal/liquid interface.


George W. Scherer received his BS and MS degrees in 1972 and his PhD in materials science in 1974, all from MIT, where his thesis work was on crystal growth in glass. From 1974 to 1985, he was at Corning Glass Works, where his research included optical fiber fabrication, viscous sintering, and viscoelastic stress analysis. The latter work was the subject of his first book, Relaxation in Glass and Composites (Wiley, 1986). From 1985 through 1995, he was a member of the Central Research Dept. of the DuPont Company, where his work dealt principally with sol-gel processing, and especially with drying. In collaboration with Jeff Brinker of Sandia National Labs, he wrote a book entitled Sol-Gel Science (Academic Press, 1990). In addition, he is the author of ~300 papers and holds 10 US patents. He is a fellow of the American Ceramic Society and a member of the Materials Research Society. In 1997 he was elected to the National Academy of Engineering. In February, 1996, he became a full professor in the Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering at Princeton University, and a member of the Princeton Materials Institute (now called PRISM). His research involves mechanisms of deterioration of concrete and stone, particularly by crystallization of ice and salts in the pores, transport properties, and structure-property relationships in porous materials.


Mechanisms of deterioration of concrete and stone, particularly by crystallization of ice and salts in the pores; transport properties and structure-property relationships in porous materials; hydration of cement.

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