Effect of mix design inputs, curing and compressive strength on the durability of Na2SO4-activated high volume fly ash concretes

Research paper by Diego F. Velandia, Cyril J. Lynsdale; John L. Provis; Fernando Ramirez

Indexed on: 24 Apr '18Published on: 16 Apr '18Published in: Cement and Concrete Composites


Publication date: Available online 3 April 2018 Source:Cement and Concrete Composites Author(s): Diego F. Velandia, Cyril J. Lynsdale, John L. Provis, Fernando Ramirez This paper aims to advance research on the use in concrete of a high volume of fly ash, with a high loss on ignition value, aiding in sustainable low carbon footprint construction. To this end, the work explores the benefits that may be achieved in terms of long-term concrete performance from the incorporation of fly ash along with a chemical activator. Durability tests are performed on concrete with an activated hybrid cementitious system: Portland cement (PC) and high volume fly ash with sodium sulfate. The chloride diffusion coefficient significantly decreased over time for the activated system (50% PC - 50% fly ash with added sodium sulfate) compared to the control samples (100% PC and 80% PC - 20% fly ash) at the same water to cementitious material ratio. This behavior is particularly evident in samples cured under controlled laboratory conditions (100% RH and 23 °C). However, outdoor curing increases the permeability for all concretes. Long term carbonation is also investigated under natural exposure conditions, and samples that are cured outdoors exhibit a significant carbonation depth. The compressive strength is correlated with the durability parameters: the durability performance improves as the compressive strength increases, indicating that as is the case for Portland cement (but not always for alkali-activated binders), the microstructural factors which yield high strength are also contributing to durability properties.