concrete protein is a naturally occurring protein that has been used in the building industry as a natural admixture to improve the properties of a variety of concrete materials. The protein, casein, is a component of milk that has been used to replace a small percentage of the cement in a binder mix to increase the compressive strength and flexural strength.
Various studies have been conducted to examine the influence of casein on cement mortars. In one study, powdered technical casein was added at 0.5%, 1%, and 3% as a partial replacement for the cement mix by mass. The compressive strength and flexural strength of the samples were increased significantly (>30%) in those that were modified with the protein.
The use of casein as a biopolymer is also an environmentally friendly and sustainable alternative to synthetic binders that are often made from petroleum-based products. In another study, casein was added to the binders of cellular concrete to evaluate the effect on the sorptivity coefficient.
Three large proteins, Mrcp100k, Mrcp68k, and Mrcp52k have been identified from Megabalnus rosa cement based on SDS-PAGE analyses. Two smaller proteins, Mrcp19k and Mrcp20k, have also been identified based on their amino acid composition. Cys residues are present in both Mrcp19k and Mrcp20k at a high level, suggesting that these cement proteins might be cross-linked by disulfide bonds when incorporated into natural cement.
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