Hydrated Portland cement paste exposed to a NaCl solution was acidified by adding HCl in small steps, gradually lowering the pH. The chloride binding of the cement paste changed as a function of the pH. For the range of pH from 13.2 to 12.2, decreasing pH resulted in a considerable increase in the chloride binding. At a pH of 11, the cement paste showed almost no chloride binding. In order to explain the changes in chloride binding upon lowering the pH, the phase assemblage was investigated with SEM-EDS, TGA and XRD and compared to a thermodynamic modelling.
The paper summarizes preliminary results on characterization of the microstructure and phase assemblage of mortar and concrete samples containing Portland and Portland-fly ash cement carbonated at either natural conditions, 60% RH and 1% CO2, 90% RH and 5% CO2 or 60% RH and 100% CO2. Different characterization techniques were used: thermogravimetric analysis to study the solid phases, SEM-EDS point analysis to investigate the chemical composition of the solid phases, optical microscopy to investigate the microstructure, and cold water extraction to characterize the chemical composition of the pore solution. The combined results on microstructure and phase assemblage indicate that carbonation up to 5% CO2 appears representative for natural carbonation. Pore solution analysis revealed similar trends for the three accelerated carbonation conditions.
Bleeding and sedimentation quantify the stability of fresh cement paste, whereas the addition of fillers and water reducers affect the stability. The effect of various types of fillers and water reducers was investigated by measuring bleeding, hydrostatic pressure and electroacoustic zeta-potential. Depending on their characteristics and use, fillers can improve stability by reducing sedimentation rate and bleeding. The combined effects of fillers and water reducers on the sedimentation rates, quantified as time-dependent hydrostatic pressure changes (dp/dt) in fresh matrix, correspond to their effects on zeta-potentials. The influence of the water reducers on sedimentation and bleeding exceed that of filler type.