The pore system and engineering properties of hardened cement paste
The work described in this thesis is an attempt to elucidate the relationships between the pore system and a number of engineering properties of hardened cement paste, particularly tensile strength and resistances to carbonation and ionic penetration. By examining aspects such as the rate of carbonisation, the pore size distribution, the concentration of ions in the pore solution and the phase composition of cement pastes, relationships between the pore system (pores and pore solution) and the resistance to carbonation were investigated. The study was carried out in two parts. First, cement pastes with different pore systems were compared, whilst secondly comparisons were made between the pore systems of cement pastes with different degrees of carbonation. Relationships between the pore structure and ionic penetration were studied by comparing kinetic data relating to the diffusion of various ions in cement pastes with different pore systems. Diffusion coefficients and activation energies for the diffusion process of Cl- and Na+ ions in carbonated and non-carbonated cement pastes were determined by a quasi-steady state technique. The effect of the geometry of pores on ionic diffusion was studied by comparing the mechanisms of ionic diffusion for ions with different radii. In order to investigate the possible relationship between tensile strength and macroporosity, cement paste specimens with cross sectional areas less than 1mm2 were produced so that the chance of a macropore existing within them was low. The tensile strengths of such specimens were then compared with those of larger specimens.