Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 5

cement paste Related Abstracts

5 The Use of Image Analysis Techniques to Describe a Cluster Cracks in the Cement Paste with the Addition of Metakaolinite

Authors: Maciej Szeląg, Stanisław Fic


The impact of elevated temperatures on the construction materials manifests in change of their physical and mechanical characteristics. Stresses and thermal deformations that occur inside the volume of the material cause its progressive degradation as temperature increase. Finally, the reactions and transformations of multiphase structure of cementitious composite cause its complete destruction. A particularly dangerous phenomenon is the impact of thermal shock – a sudden high temperature load. The thermal shock leads to a high value of the temperature gradient between the outer surface and the interior of the element in a relatively short time. The result of mentioned above process is the formation of the cracks and scratches on the material’s surface and inside the material. The article describes the use of computer image analysis techniques to identify and assess the structure of the cluster cracks on the surfaces of modified cement pastes, caused by thermal shock. Four series of specimens were tested. Two Portland cements were used (CEM I 42.5R and CEM I 52,5R). In addition, two of the series contained metakaolinite as a replacement for 10% of the cement content. Samples in each series were made in combination of three w/b (water/binder) indicators of respectively 0.4; 0.5; 0.6. Surface cracks of the samples were created by a sudden temperature load at 200°C for 4 hours. Images of the cracked surfaces were obtained via scanning at 1200 DPI; digital processing and measurements were performed using ImageJ v. 1.46r software. In order to examine the cracked surface of the cement paste as a system of closed clusters – the dispersal systems theory was used to describe the structure of cement paste. Water is used as the dispersing phase, and the binder is used as the dispersed phase – which is the initial stage of cement paste structure creation. A cluster itself is considered to be the area on the specimen surface that is limited by cracks (created by sudden temperature loading) or by the edge of the sample. To describe the structure of cracks two stereological parameters were proposed: A ̅ – the cluster average area, L ̅ – the cluster average perimeter. The goal of this study was to compare the investigated stereological parameters with the mechanical properties of the tested specimens. Compressive and tensile strength testes were carried out according to EN standards. The method used in the study allowed the quantitative determination of defects occurring in the examined modified cement pastes surfaces. Based on the results, it was found that the nature of the cracks depends mainly on the physical parameters of the cement and the intermolecular interactions on the dispersal environment. Additionally, it was noted that the A ̅/L ̅ relation of created clusters can be described as one function for all tested samples. This fact testifies about the constant geometry of the thermal cracks regardless of the presence of metakaolinite, the type of cement and the w/b ratio.

Keywords: Image Analysis, elevated temperature, cement paste, cluster cracks, metakaolinite, stereological parameters

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4 The Influence of Microsilica on the Cluster Cracks' Geometry of Cement Paste

Authors: Maciej Szeląg


The changing nature of environmental impacts, in which cement composites are operating, are causing in the structure of the material a number of phenomena, which result in volume deformation of the composite. These strains can cause composite cracking. Cracks are merging by propagation or intersect to form a characteristic structure of cracks known as the cluster cracks. This characteristic mesh of cracks is crucial to almost all building materials, which are working in service loads conditions. Particularly dangerous for a cement matrix is a sudden load of elevated temperature – the thermal shock. Resulting in a relatively short period of time a large value of a temperature gradient between the outer surface and the material’s interior can result in cracks formation on the surface and in the volume of the material. In the paper, in order to analyze the geometry of the cluster cracks of the cement pastes, the image analysis tools were used. Tested were 4 series of specimens made of two different Portland cement. In addition, two series include microsilica as a substitute for the 10% of the cement. Within each series, specimens were performed in three w/b indicators (water/binder): 0.4; 0.5; 0.6. The cluster cracks were created by sudden loading the samples by elevated temperature of 250°C. Images of the cracked surfaces were obtained via scanning at 2400 DPI. Digital processing and measurements were performed using ImageJ v. 1.46r software. To describe the structure of the cluster cracks three stereological parameters were proposed: the average cluster area - A ̅, the average length of cluster perimeter - L ̅, and the average opening width of a crack between clusters - I ̅. The aim of the study was to identify and evaluate the relationships between measured stereological parameters, and the compressive strength and the bulk density of the modified cement pastes. The tests of the mechanical and physical feature have been carried out in accordance with EN standards. The curves describing the relationships have been developed using the least squares method, and the quality of the curve fitting to the empirical data was evaluated using three diagnostic statistics: the coefficient of determination – R2, the standard error of estimation - Se, and the coefficient of random variation – W. The use of image analysis allowed for a quantitative description of the cluster cracks’ geometry. Based on the obtained results, it was found a strong correlation between the A ̅ and L ̅ – reflecting the fractal nature of the cluster cracks formation process. It was noted that the compressive strength and the bulk density of cement pastes decrease with an increase in the values of the stereological parameters. It was also found that the main factors, which impact on the cluster cracks’ geometry are the cement particles’ size and the general content of the binder in a volume of the material. The microsilica caused the reduction in the A ̅, L ̅ and I ̅ values compared to the values obtained by the classical cement paste’s samples, which is caused by the pozzolanic properties of the microsilica.

Keywords: Image Analysis, microsilica, elevated temperature, cement paste, cluster cracks, stereological parameters

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3 Effect of Temperature on the Properties of Cement Paste Modified with Nanoparticles

Authors: Karine Pimenta Teixeira, Jessica Flores, Isadora PerdigãO Rocha, Leticia De Sá Carneiro, Mahsa Kamali, Ali Ghahremaninezhad


The advent of nanotechnology has enabled innovative solutions towards improving the behavior of infrastructure materials. Nanomaterials have the potential to revolutionize the construction industry by improving the performance and durability of construction materials, as well as imparting new functionalities to these materials. Due to variability in the environmental temperature during mixing and curing of cementitious materials in practice, it is important to understand how curing temperature influences the behavior of cementitious materials. In addition, high temperature curing is relevant in applications such as oil well cement and precast industry. Knowledge of the influence of temperature on the performance of cementitious materials modified with nanoparticles is important in the nanoengineering of cementitious materials in applications such as oil well cement and precast industry. This presentation aims to investigate the influence of temperature on the hydration, mechanical properties and durability of cementitious materials modified with TiO2 nanoparticles. It was found that temperature improved the early hydration. The cement pastes cured at high temperatures showed an increase in the compressive strength at early age but the strength gain decreased at late ages. The electrical resistivity of the cement pastes cured at high temperatures was shown to decrease more noticeably at late ages compared to that of the room temperature cured cement paste. SEM examination indicated that hydration product was more uniformly distributed in the microstructure of the cement paste cured at room temperature compared to the cement pastes cured at high temperature.

Keywords: Hydration, Nanoparticles, temperature, cement paste

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2 Application of Multiwall Carbon Nanotubes with Anionic Surfactant to Cement Paste

Authors: Maciej Szeląg


The discovery of the carbon nanotubes (CNT), has led to a breakthrough in the material engineering. The CNT is characterized by very large surface area, very high Young's modulus (about 2 TPa), unmatched durability, high tensile strength (about 50 GPa) and bending strength. Their diameter usually oscillates in the range from 1 to 100 nm, and the length from 10 nm to 10-2 m. The relatively new approach is the CNT’s application in the concrete technology. The biggest problem in the use of the CNT to cement composites is their uneven dispersion and low adhesion to the cement paste. Putting the nanotubes alone into the cement matrix does not produce any effect because they tend to agglomerate, due to their large surface area. Most often, the CNT is used as an aqueous suspension in the presence of a surfactant that has previously been sonicated. The paper presents the results of investigations of the basic physical properties (apparent density, shrinkage) and mechanical properties (compression and tensile strength) of cement paste with the addition of the multiwall carbon nanotubes (MWCNT). The studies were carried out on four series of specimens (made of two different Portland Cement). Within each series, samples were made with three w/c ratios – 0.4, 0.5, 0.6 (water/cement). Two series were an unmodified cement matrix. In the remaining two series, the MWCNT was added in amount of 0.1% by cement’s weight. The MWCNT was used as an aqueous dispersion in the presence of a surfactant – SDS – sodium dodecyl sulfate (C₁₂H₂₅OSO₂ONa). So prepared aqueous solution was sonicated for 30 minutes. Then the MWCNT aqueous dispersion and cement were mixed using a mechanical stirrer. The parameters were tested after 28 days of maturation. Additionally, the change of these parameters was determined after samples temperature loading at 250°C for 4 hours (thermal shock). Measurement of the apparent density indicated that cement paste with the MWCNT addition was about 30% lighter than conventional cement matrix. This is due to the fact that the use of the MWCNT water dispersion in the presence of surfactant in the form of SDS resulted in the formation of air pores, which were trapped in the volume of the material. SDS as an anionic surfactant exhibits characteristics specific to blowing agents – gaseous and foaming substances. Because of the increased porosity of the cement paste with the MWCNT, they have obtained lower compressive and tensile strengths compared to the cement paste without additive. It has been observed, however, that the smallest decreases in the compressive and tensile strength after exposure to the elevated temperature achieved samples with the MWCNT. The MWCNT (well dispersed in the cement matrix) can form bridges between hydrates in a nanoscale of the material’s structure. Thus, this may result in an increase in the coherent cohesion of the cement material subjected to a thermal shock. The obtained material could be used for the production of an aerated concrete or using lightweight aggregates for the production of a lightweight concrete.

Keywords: elevated temperature, multiwall carbon nanotubes, cement paste, SDS, mechanical parameters, physical parameters

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1 Investigating the Effect of Using Amorphous Silica Ash Obtained from Rice Husk as a Partial Replacement of Ordinary Portland Cement on the Mechanical and Microstructure Properties of Cement Paste and Mortar

Authors: Aliyu Usman, Jibrin M. Kaura, Muhaammed Bello Ibrahim, Yusuf D. Amartey


This research is aimed at investigating the effect of using amorphous silica ash (ASA) obtained from rice husk as a partial replacement of ordinary Portland cement (OPC) on the mechanical and microstructure properties of cement paste and mortar. ASA was used in partial replacement of ordinary Portland cement in the following percentages 3 percent, 5 percent, 8 percent and 10 percent. These partial replacements were used to produce Cement-ASA paste and Cement-ASA mortar. ASA was found to contain all the major chemical compounds found in cement with the exception of alumina, which are SiO2 (91.5%), CaO (2.84%), Fe2O3 (1.96%), and loss on ignition (LOI) was found to be 9.18%. It also contains other minor oxides found in cement. Consistency of Cement-ASA paste was found to increase with increase in ASA replacement. Likewise, the setting time and soundness of the Cement-ASA paste also increases with increase in ASA replacements. The test on hardened mortar were destructive in nature which include flexural strength test on prismatic beam (40mm x 40mm x 160mm) at 2, 7, 14 and 28 days curing and compressive strength test on the cube size (40mm x 40mm, by using the auxiliary steel platens) at 2,7,14 and 28 days curing. The Cement-ASA mortar flexural and compressive strengths were found to be increasing with curing time and decreases with cement replacement by ASA. It was observed that 5 percent replacement of cement with ASA attained the highest strength for all the curing ages and all the percentage replacements attained the targeted compressive strength of 6N/mm2 for 28 days. There is an increase in the drying shrinkage of Cement-ASA mortar with curing time, it was also observed that the drying shrinkages for all the curing ages were greater than the control specimen all of which were greater than the code recommendation of less than 0.03%. The scanning electron microscope (SEM) was used to study the Cement-ASA mortar microstructure and to also look for hydration product and morphology.

Keywords: scanning electron microscope, cement paste, cement mortar, amorphous silica ash

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