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Title: Neutron Radiography Measurement of Salt Solution Absorption in Mortar

Author(s): C. L. Lucero, R. P. Spragg, D. P. Bentz, D. S. Hussey, D. L. Jacobson, and W. J. Weiss

Publication: Materials Journal

Volume: 114

Issue: 01

Appears on pages(s): 149-159


Date: 1/1/2017

Some concrete pavements in the United States have recently exhibited premature joint deterioration. It is hypothesized that one component of this damage can be attributed to a reaction that occurs when salt-laden water is absorbed in the concrete and reacts with the matrix. This study examines the absorption of CaCl2 solution in mortar via neutron imaging. Mortar specimens were prepared with water-cement ratios (w/c) of 0.36, 0.42, and 0.50 by mass and exposed to chloride solutions with concentrations ranging from 0% to 29.8% by mass. Depth of fluid penetration and moisture content along the specimen length were determined for 96 hours after exposure. At high salt concentration (29.8%), the sorption rate decreased by over 80% in all samples. Along with changes in surface tension and viscosity, CaCl2 reacted with the cement paste to produce products (Friedel’s salt, Kuzel’s salt, or calcium oxychloride) that block pores and reduce absorption.