Use of calorimetry to select materials and predict performance of concrete

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Title: Use of calorimetry to select materials and predict performance of concrete

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Publication: CIA

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Date: 2/28/2011

Abstract:
Calorimetry has in recent years evolved from being a quite expensive laboratory tool to become less expensive and more widely used by practitioners for the selection and optimization of concrete and cement compositions. In an isothermal test the sample is reacting at close to constant temperature to allow for detailed and repeatable studies of temperature effect on the rate of reaction while in a semi-adiabatic test the sample is allowed to increase in temperature during the test. Both methods are based on monitoring the heat generated by the hydration of the cementitious binder as a function of time. However, differences in complexity and cost of equipment usually dictate different equipment configurations for different applications. Examples are given of calorimetry applications including simple characterization of the reaction rate of mixtures with different materials using inexpensive semi-adiabatic calorimetry to quantification of the effect of temperature on the reaction rate of different mixtures using the more accurate and also more expensive isothermal calorimetry. Often a combination of relatively frequent low-cost semi-adiabatic tests and fewer but more accurate isothermal tests can be used to optimize the ingredients for a mixture as well as to monitor it for actual performance in the field.


Concrete Institute of Australia, International Partner Access.

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