Inventive Microstructural and Durability Investigation of Cementitious Composites Involving Crystalline Waterproofing Admixtures and Portland Limestone Cement

Date

2020

Authors

Azarsa, Pejman
Gupta, Rishi
Biparva, Alireza

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title

Publisher

Materials

Abstract

The durability of a cement-based material is mainly dependent on its permeability. Modifications of porosity, pore-structure and pore-connectivity could have significant impacts on permeability improvement, which eventually leads to more durable materials. One of the most efficient solutions in this regard is to use permeability reducing admixtures (PRA). Among these admixtures for those structures exposed to hydro-static pressure, crystalline waterproofing admixtures (CWA) have been serving in the construction industries for decades and according to ACI 212—chemical admixtures’ report, it has proven its capability in permeability reduction and durability-enhancement. However, there is substantial research being done on its durability properties at the macro level but very limited information available regarding its microstructural features and chemical characteristics at the micro level. Hence, this paper presents one of the first reported attempts to characterize microstructural and chemical elements of hydration products for cementitious composites with CWA called K, P and X using Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM). Backscattered SEM images taken from a polished-section of one CWA type—K—admixture were analyzed in ImageJ to obtain paste matrix porosity, indicating a lower value for the CWA-K mixture. X-ray analysis and SEM micrographs of polished sections were examined to identify chemical compositions based on atomic ratio plots and brightness differences in backscatter-SEM images. To detect chemical elements and the nature of formed crystals, the fractured surfaces of three different CWA mixtures were examined. Cementitious composites with K admixture indicated needle-like crystal formation—though different from ettringite; X and P admixtures showed sulfur peaks in Energy Dispersive Spectrum (EDS) spectra, like ettringite. SEM images and X-ray analyses of mixtures incorporating Portland Limestone Cement (PLC) indicated lower-than-average porosity but showed different Si/Ca and Al/Ca atomic ratios.

Description

Keywords

durability of cement-based materials, microstructural formation, smart construction materials, sustainability, permeability reducing admixtures (PRA), crystalline waterproofing admixtures (CWA)

Citation

Azarsa, P., Gupta, R., & Biparva, A. (2020). Inventive Microstructural and Durability Investigation of Cementitious Composites Involving Crystalline Waterproofing Admixtures and Portland Limestone Cement. Materials, 13(6), 1-19. https://doi.org/10.3390/ma13061425.