Indexed on: 19 May '16Published on: 19 May '16Published in: Materials
Pore structure, tortuosity and permeability are considered key properties of porous materials such as cement pastes to understand their long-term durability performance. Three-dimensional image analysis techniques were used in this study to quantify pore size, effective porosity, tortuosity, and permeability from the X-ray computed tomography (CT) images of deteriorated pastes that were subjected to accelerated leaching test. X-ray microtomography is a noninvasive three-dimensional (3D) imaging technique which has been recently gaining attention for material characterization. Coupled with 3D image analysis, the digitized pore can be extracted and computational simulation can be applied to the pore network to measure relevant microstructure and transport properties. At a spatial resolution of 0.50 μm, the effective porosity (ψe) was found to be in the range of 0.04 to 0.33. The characteristic pore size (d) using a local thickness algorithm was found to be in the range of 3 to 7 μm. The geometric tortuosity (τg) based on a 3D random walk simulation in the percolating pore space was found to be in the range of 2.00 to 7.45. The water permeability values (K) using US NIST Permeability Stokes Solver range from an order of magnitudes of 10(-14) to 10(-17) m². Indications suggest that as effective porosity increases, the geometric tortuosity increases and the permeability decreases. Correlation among these microstructure and transport parameters is also presented in this study.