Durability related properties of PFA, slag and silica fume concrete
Concrete has the largest production of all man-made materials. Compared with other construction materials, it possesses many advantages including low cost, general availability of raw materials, low energy requirement and utilization under different environmental conditions. Therefore, concrete will continue to be the dominant construction material in the foreseeable future. However, durability of concrete and reinfored concrete structures are still of worldwide concern, so producing a good quality concrete which impedes the ingress of harmful substances into it is of paramount importance. Cement replacement materials have been introduced into concrete mixtures for the purpose of improving the durability performance. Hence, the aim of the present investigation is to study the durability of concrete with and without cement replacement materials under various initial curing conditions. In this thesis various concrete mixes with and without cement replacement materials were considered. The cement replacement materials were, pulverised fuel ash, condensed silica fume, and ground granulated blast furnace slag. Superplasticiser was added to the majority of the mixes considered and air entraining agent to some of the mixes. Various curing regimes were employed which comprised hot dry curing to simulate concrete in the hot arid areas in the world and curing at normal temperature. Curing involved air curing, membrane curing and moist curing for fourteen days followed by air curing. A number of tests were conducted at either one particular age or at various ages. These included tests on porosity and pore structure of pastes obtained by mercury intrusion porosimetry technique, water absorption which covers the water absorption of concrete obtained by shallow immersion and the water absorbed by capillary action when the concrete surface is in contact with water, sulphate resistance of concrete which is performed by immersing the concrete specimens in sulphate solution, and monitoring the change in length at various periods of immersion, chloride penetration profiles of concrete at various ages of exposure. In addition to these tests on durability related properties, tests on compressive strength were also performed. Throughout the study a correlation between pore structure and durability related properties is investigated. A comprehensive compilation of chloride penetration data is made and an empirical expression is derived for the prediction of long term diffusion coefficients. At the end of the investigation, limitations of the present study, conclusions and suggestions for future research are made.