The Influence of a New Metal Silicate Hydrate Admixture on Concrete Strength and Durability

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Title: The Influence of a New Metal Silicate Hydrate Admixture on Concrete Strength and Durability

Author(s): Giorgio Ferrari, Vincenzo Russo, Davide Salvioni, Francesco Surico, Gilberto Artioli, Maria Chiara Dalconi, Michele Secco, and Luca Valentini

Publication: Special Publication

Volume: 303

Issue:

Appears on pages(s): 167-182

Keywords: accelerators; durability; early strength; microstructure; nucleation; water permeability

Date: 6/1/2015

Abstract:
A new, highly effective accelerating admixture, based on copper silicate hydrates, has been developed to promote the early hydration of portland cement. Different cement paste specimens, with and without the additive, were investigated at different times of hydration by a number of techniques, including electron microscopy and synchrotron-based diffraction enhanced computed micro-tomography. The latter advanced technique allows to visualize the 3D crystal phase evolution in the cement paste, thus enabling the direct analysis of the nucleation mechanisms and the microstructural developments. The data confirmed that the new silicate hydrates truly enhance the silicate network by inducing homogeneous nucleation and the rapid development of a diffuse interconnection between the hydration products. The resulting microstructure results in improved mechanical and durability properties, as shown by the early development of compressive strength and reduced water penetration of concrete mixtures containing the new admixture.