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Frontiers of Structural and Civil Engineering

Front. Struct. Civ. Eng.    2020, Vol. 14 Issue (5) : 1274-1284     https://doi.org/10.1007/s11709-020-0656-x
RESEARCH ARTICLE
Hydration, microstructure and autogenous shrinkage behaviors of cement mortars by addition of superabsorbent polymers
Beibei SUN1,2, Hao WU1,3, Weimin SONG1(), Zhe LI1, Jia YU1
1. School of Civil Engineering, Central South University, Changsha 410075, China
2. Magnel Laboratory for Concrete Research, Department of Structural Engineering, Ghent University, Ghent 9052, Belgium
3. National Engineering Laboratory for High Speed Railway Construction, Central South University, Changsha 410075, China
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Abstract

Superabsorbent Polymer (SAP) has emerged as a topic of considerable interest in recent years. The present study systematically and quantitively investigated the effect of SAP on hydration, autogenous shrinkage, mechanical properties, and microstructure of cement mortars. Influences of SAP on hydration heat and autogenous shrinkage were studied by utilizing TAM AIR technology and a non-contact autogenous shrinkage test method. Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) was employed to assess the microstructure evolution. Although SAP decreased the peak rate of hydration heat and retarded the hydration, it significantly increased the cumulative heat, indicating SAP helps promote the hydration. Hydration promotion caused by SAP mainly occurred in the deceleration period and attenuation period. SAP can significantly mitigate the autogenous shrinkage when the content ranged from 0 to 0.5%. Microstructure characteristics showed that pores and gaps were introduced when SAP was added. The microstructure difference caused by SAP contributed to the inferior mechanical behaviors of cement mortars treated by SAP.

Keywords Superabsorbent Polymer      mechanical properties      hydration heat      autogenous shrinkage      microstructure     
Corresponding Author(s): Weimin SONG   
Just Accepted Date: 14 July 2020   Online First Date: 04 September 2020    Issue Date: 16 November 2020
 Cite this article:   
Beibei SUN,Hao WU,Weimin SONG, et al. Hydration, microstructure and autogenous shrinkage behaviors of cement mortars by addition of superabsorbent polymers[J]. Front. Struct. Civ. Eng., 2020, 14(5): 1274-1284.
 URL:  
http://journal.hep.com.cn/fsce/EN/10.1007/s11709-020-0656-x
http://journal.hep.com.cn/fsce/EN/Y2020/V14/I5/1274
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Beibei SUN
Hao WU
Weimin SONG
Zhe LI
Jia YU
Fig.1  Heat evolution as a function of time for cement paste.
Fig.2  SEM image of SAP.
Fig.3  Particle size distributions.
SiO2 (%) CaO (%) Al2O3 (%) Fe2O3 (%) SO3 (%) Cl(%) MgO (%) LOI (%) setting time (min) surface area (m2/kg)
sinitial final
21.08 62.62 5.13 3.16 2.41 0.023 3.34 1.97 155 200 354
Tab.1  Physical and chemical properties of cement
group cement content (kg/m3) W/C S/C superplasticizer (%) SAP (%) extra water (%)
G1 490 0.3 2 0.3 0.00 0.00
G2 0.25 2.55
G3 0.50 5.41
G4 0.75 9.30
G5 1.00 14.01?
Tab.2  Design of cement mortar proportion
Fig.4  Non-contact autogenous shrinkage test setup.
Fig.5  The rate of heat of hydration of cement mortar with different SAP content.
Fig.6  The peak of the rate of hydration heat.
Fig.7  Cumulative heat of cement mortar with different SAP content (10 d).
Fig.8  Comparison of cumulative heat of cement mortar with different SAP content.
Fig.9  Increase proportion of the cumulative heat.
Fig.10  The autogenous shrinkage of cement mortar with different SAP content.
SAP content (%) start time of the shrinkage (h) 3d shrinkage rate (106)
0.00 14.5 ?938.09
0.25 13 ?719.56
0.50 23 ?288.89
0.75 N/A -304.71
1.00 N/A -941.75
Tab.3  Autogenous shrinkage parameters of cement mortar with different SAP content
Fig.11  Microstructure of SAP cement mortar at 50 d. (a) SAP embedded in cement; (b) SAP separated from cement stone; (c) hydration products formed around SAP; (d) SAP and pores.
Fig.12  Microstructure of SAP cement mortar at 100 d. (a) SAP embedded in cement; (b) SAP separated from cement; (c) hydration products formed around SAP; (d) SAP and pores.
Fig.13  The compressive strengths of SAP treated cement mortars.
Fig.14  The flexural strengths of SAP treated cement mortars.
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