Microstructure and durability of concrete prepared using new multi component cements

Started: October 2017

Supervisor: Dr Hong Wong

Industry Partner: Heidelberg Cement

Description of Research

Concrete is the most heavily used material in the world and because of this, the cement industry accounts for about 5% global CO2 emissions. Replacing Portland cement clinker with supplementary cementitious materials (SCMs) is one of the most promising approaches to mitigate this. This research concerns the development of cements containing very high levels of SCMs that consist of blends of pulverised fly ash, ground granulated blastfurnace slag, limestone filler and other materials to induce synergistic effects that could improve concrete performance. This research aims to examine the hydration kinetics, microstructure development and durability performance of concretes prepared with such multi-component cements. A particular focus will be the interfacial transition zone (ITZ), a paste region adjacent to aggregate where cement particles cannot pack closely causing the microstructure to be inferior compared to the bulk paste farther away. The research will characterise the effects of the multi-component cements on microstructure using a range imaging techniques and mass transport measurements.