Effect of lithium nitrate on the reaction between opal aggregate and sodium and potassium hydroxides in concrete over a long period of time

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Alkali-silica reaction (ASR) is a reaction between amorphous or poorly crystallized siliceous phase, present in aggregates, and sodium and potassium hydroxides in the pore solution of concrete. Chemical admixtures such as lithium compounds are known to have high potential of inhibiting ASR. The aim of this study was to determine the effect of lithium nitrate on ASR in mortars containing high reactive opal aggregate over a long period of time. Mortar bar expansion tests were performed and microstructures of mortar bars were observed by scanning electron microscopy coupled with an energy dispersive X-ray microanalyser. Results from this study showed that effectiveness of lithium nitrate in mitigating ASR was limited over a long period of time. A larger amount of ASR gel which was formed in the presence of lithium nitrate indicated that the deterioration processes intensify within longer periods of time, which so far has not been observed in literature. Microscopic observation confirmed the presence of alkali-silica gel and delayed ettringite in mortars with lithium nitrate.

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Bulletin of the Polish Academy of Sciences Technical Sciences

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