Concrete is widely known for its strength and durability, but it also has a tendency to "creep," or deform progressively under mechanical stress, which leads to crumbling bridges and cracked roads.

Until recently, the physical origin of the mechanism has remained poorly understood. "As a result, engineers estimate creep using empirical models, which often poorly predict creep behavior," explained Gaurav Sant, an associate professor and Henry Samueli Fellow in the department of civil and environmental engineering at UCLA.

"By careful unifications of experimental and computational data, we clarified that creep originates from a dissolution-precipitation process that acts at nanoscale contact regions of C-S-H grains."

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