Indexed on: 07 May '20Published on: 01 May '20Published in: Materials
In the present work, the effect of mineral aggregates (pumice stone and expanded clay aggregates) and chemical admixtures (superplasticizers and shrinkage reducing additives) as an alternative internal curing technique was investigated, to improve the properties of high-performance concrete. In the fresh and hardened state, concretes with partial replacements of Portland cement (CPC30R and OPC40C) by pulverized fly ash in combination with the addition of mineral aggregates and chemical admixtures were studied. The physical, mechanical, and durability properties in terms of slump, density, porosity, compressive strength, and permeability to chloride ions were respectively determined. The microstructural analysis was carried out by scanning electronic microscopy. The results highlight the effect of the addition of expanded clay aggregate on the internal curing of the concrete, which allowed developing the maximum compressive strength at 28 days (61 MPa). Meanwhile, the replacement of fine aggregate by 20% of pumice stone allowed developing the maximum compressive strength (52 MPa) in an OPC-based concrete at 180 days. The effectiveness of internal curing to develop higher strength is attributed to control in the porosity and a high water release at a later age. Finally, the lowest permeability value at 90 days (945 C) was found by the substitutions of fine aggregate by 20% of pumice stone saturated with shrinkage reducing admixture into pores and OPC40C by 15% of pulverized fly ash. It might be due to impeded diffusion of chloride ions into cement paste in the vicinity of pulverized fly ash, where the pozzolanic reaction has occurred. The proposed internal curing technology can be considered a real alternative to achieve the expected performance of a high-performance concrete since a concrete with a compressive strength range from 45 to 67 MPa, density range from 2130 to 2310 kg/m3, and exceptional durability (< 2000 C) was effectively developed.