The effect of superabsorbent polymers on consistency and strength of mortars with GGBS and FA

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AIP Conference Proceedings


To fulfil sustainability requirements partial substitution of energy-consuming Portland cement with supplementary cementitious materials (SCM), like fly ash (FA) or ground-granulated blast-furnace slag (GGBS) is more and more applied. However, SCM in cementitious matrix affects the hydration process in early stages that results in self desiccation, crack propagation, negatively affecting strength and durability. These processes may be mitigated by the introduction of internal curing. The concept is to provide internal water reservoirs like Superabsorbent Polymers (SAP), evenly distributed in matrix, which maintain saturation within the cement paste capillaries and gradually provide water for cement hydration. This study aims to assess the effects of two SAPs on mortars' (containing FA and GGBS) consistency and mechanical properties, the main characteristics considered in practice. SAPs influence consistency and mechanical properties and their characteristics (WAC, size and shape, and chemical composition) determine their effects and scope. In general, SAPs reduce consistency. In this study addition of SAPs results in slight flexural and compressive strengths reduction. However, the mix composition, its ingredients, and proportions change the concentration of ions in pore solution that can affect mortar properties to a higher extend.

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