Chloride resistance and durability of cement paste and concrete containing metakaolin
Metakaolin (MK), a calcined clay, was included as a partial cement replacement material, at up to 20% by weight of binder, in cement pastes and concrete, and its influence on the resistance to chloride ingress investigated. Reductions in effective chloride diffusion coefficients through hardened cement paste were obtained for binary blends and by combining OPC, MK and a second cement replacement material of pulverised fuel ash or ground granulated blast furnace slag. Steady state oxygen diffusion measurements through hardened cement pastes measured using an electrochemical cell showed that the interaction between charged species and the pore surfaces is a major factor in determining chloride diffusion rate. Rheology of the binder, particularly at high MK replacement levels, was found to have a dramatic influence on the diffusion performance of cement pastes. It was concluded that plasticising admixtures are essential for adequate dispersion of MK in cement pastes. Chloride concentration profile analysis of the concrete cylinders, exposed to sodium chloride solution for one year, was employed to obtain apparent chloride diffusion coefficients for concrete specimens. MK was found to reduce the depth of chloride penetration into concrete when compared with that of unblended mixes. Corrosion rate and corrosion potential measurements were taken on steel bars embedded in concrete exposed to a saline environment under conditions of cyclic wetting and drying. The initiation time for corrosion was found to be significantly longer for MK blended mixes than for plain OPC systems. The aggregate-paste interfacial zone of MK blended systems was investigated by steady state diffusion of chloride ions through mortar containing glass beads as model aggregate. For the model aggregate specimens tested the work confirmed the hypothesis that properties of the bulk paste are the controlling factors in ionic diffusion through mortar.