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Modelling hysteresis in the water sorption and drying shrinkage of cement paste

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Enrico Masoero, Qingyuan Ji


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© ASCE. Shrinkage can be critical for the strength and durability of drying cement pastes. Shrinkage becomes particularly severe at very low relative humidity, < 20%, which can be met in some activities involving extreme temperatures. Experiments and simulations suggest that small pores in the cement paste, with approximate thickness ≤ 1 nm, stay saturated unless the humidity drops below 20%. Here we suggest that this pore size can define two different categories of pores in the paste: pores thicker than 1 nm, where the Kelvin's equation and the corresponding capillary (Laplace) pressure apply, and pores thinner than 1 nm, which can be considered as part of the solid skeleton if the humidity stays above 20%. We show that a continuum model, incorporating a pore-blocking mechanism for desorption and equilibrium thermodynamics for adsorption, explains well the sorption hysteresis for a paste that remains above ∼ 20%. At lower humidities, we assume that (1) during adsorpion water re-enters the smallest pores throughout the entire RH range (supported by experiments and simulations) and (2) there exists a simple linear relationship between water and strain in the smallest pores. These minimal assumptions are sufficient to explain the low-humidity hysteresis of water content and strain, but the underlying mechanistic explanation is still an open question. Combining the low-humidity and high-humidity models allows capturing the entire drying and rewetting hysteresis, and provides parameters to predict the corresponding dimensional changes.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Masoero E, Pinson MB, Bonnaud PA, Manzano H, Ji Q, Yip S, Thomas JJ, Bazant MZ, Van Vliet K, Jennings HM

Publication type: Conference Proceedings (inc. Abstract)

Publication status: Published

Conference Name: CONCREEP 10: 10th International Conference on Mechanics and Physics of Creep, Shrinkage, and Durability of Concrete and Concrete Structures, 2015

Year of Conference: 2015

Pages: 306-312

Acceptance date: 01/01/1900

Publisher: American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE)


DOI: 10.1061/9780784479346.035

Library holdings: Search Newcastle University Library for this item

ISBN: 9780784479346


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