Influence of Internal Curing using Lightweight Aggregates on Interfacial Transition Zone Percolation and Chloride Ingress in Mortars
Dale P. Bentz
The microstructure of the interfacial transition zone (ITZ) between cement paste and aggregate depends strongly on the nature of the aggregate, specifically its porosity and water absorption. Lightweight aggregates (LWA) with a porous surface layer have been noted to produce a dense ITZ microstructure that is equivalent to that of the bulk cement paste, as opposed to the more porous ITZ regions that typically surround normal weight aggregates. This ITZ microstructure can have a large influence on diffusive transport into a concrete, especially if the individual ITZ regions are percolated (connected) across the three-dimensional microstructure. In this paper, the substitution of LWA sand for a portion of the normal weight sand to provide internal curing (IC) for a mortar is examined with respect to its influence on ITZ percolation and chloride ingress. Experimental measurements of chloride ion penetration depths are combined with computer modeling of the ITZ percolation and random walk diffusion simulations to determine the magnitude of the reduced diffusivity provided in a mortar with IC vs. one with only normal weight sand. In this study, for a mixture of sands that is 31 % LWA and 69 % normal weight sand by volume, the chloride ion diffusivity is estimated to be reduced by 25 % or more, based on the measured penetration depths.
Influence of Internal Curing using Lightweight Aggregates on Interfacial Transition Zone Percolation and Chloride Ingress in Mortars, Cement and Concrete Composites, [online], https://tsapps.nist.gov/publication/get_pdf.cfm?pub_id=861601
(Accessed December 8, 2023)