Calcium Oxychloride Formation Potential in Cementitious Pastes Exposed to Blends of Deicing Salt

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Title: Calcium Oxychloride Formation Potential in Cementitious Pastes Exposed to Blends of Deicing Salt

Author(s): Prannoy Suraneni, Jonathan Monical, Erol Unal, Yaghoob Farnam, and Jason Weiss

Publication: Materials Journal

Volume: 114

Issue: 04

Appears on pages(s): 631-641

Keywords: calcium oxychloride; deicing salts; differential scanning calorimetry; durability; pavements; thermogravimetric analysis

Date: 7/1/2017

Abstract:
Chloride-based deicing salt solutions can react with the calcium hydroxide in the cementitious matrix, leading to the formation of calcium oxychloride. Calcium oxychloride formation has been implicated in the premature deterioration of pavement joints and concrete flatwork across cold regions in North America. This study examines the formation of calcium oxychloride in the presence of blends of different chloride-based deicing salts (sodium and calcium chloride). This evaluation was performed using several plain cementitious pastes and pastes with fly ash, slag, and silica fume used as supplementary cementitious materials. Fly ash and slag were used at 20% replacement levels and the silica fume was used at 3 and 6% replacement levels. Thermogravimetric analysis was used to quantify the amount of calcium hydroxide, and low-temperature differential scanning calorimetry was used to quantify the amount of calcium oxychloride formed. When the salt blends consist of less than 20% of calcium chloride by mass, the amount of calcium oxychloride that forms is low and does not depend on the calcium hydroxide content in the pastes. When the salt blends consist of more than 20% of calcium chloride by mass, the amount of calcium oxychloride that forms depends on the calcium hydroxide content in the paste and increases with calcium hydroxide content. This suggests two strategies to mitigate the amount of calcium oxychloride that is formed: reduction in the amount of calcium hydroxide in the pastes through use of supplementary cementitious materials, and the use of deicing salt blends that include lower amounts of calcium chloride. A model is developed to estimate the amount of calcium oxychloride formed in mixtures, given the calcium hydroxide and calcium chloride contents.