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Title: Effect of Different Curing Processes on Hydraulic Concrete Performance

Author(s): Junhao Chen, Yanlong Li, Lifeng Wen, Hanyu Guo, and Kangping Li

Publication: Materials Journal

Volume: 119

Issue: 4

Appears on pages(s): 27-37

Keywords: curing environment; mechanical properties; microstructure; porosity

Date: 7/1/2022

Abstract:
The objective of this paper is to investigate the microscopic pore characteristics and macroscopic mechanical properties of concrete under different curing conditions. Ultrasonic nondestructive testing technology was used to measure the ultrasonic sound velocity of specimens of different ages, and the compressive strength and splitting tensile strength were obtained through indoor mechanical performance tests. The pore-size distribution characteristics and internal microstructure were observed using nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) technology and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) testing, respectively. The results revealed that, compared with standard curing conditions, the decrease of the curing temperature and humidity can result in the volume and proportion of macropores and microcracks being larger, which results in the deceleration of the ultrasonic wave speed inside the concrete and the decrease of the mechanical properties. Under the same curing condition, a lower water-binder ratio (w/b) enables the internal pore surface area of the material to increase, and the mechanical properties are improved. With the decrease of the curing temperature and relative humidity, the stress-strain curve appeared delayed in the initial compaction stage and presents more obvious brittleness characteristics in the failure stage. By fitting the relationship between the concrete strength and the porosity under different curing conditions, an extended model that can be applied to cement-based materials was obtained. Additionally, it was found that the porosity is negatively correlated with the ratio of the compressive strength to splitting tensile strength of the concrete.


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