DOI: 10.3390/fractalfract7080606 ISSN: 2504-3110

Hydration and Fractal Analysis on Low-Heat Portland Cement Pastes Using Thermodynamics-Based Methods

Yifan Zhou, Wenwei Li, Yuxiang Peng, Shengwen Tang, Lei Wang, Yan Shi, Yang Li, Yang Wang, Zhicheng Geng, Kai Wu
  • Statistics and Probability
  • Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
  • Analysis

Low-heat Portland (LHP) cement is a kind of high-belite cement, which has the characteristic of low hydration heat. Currently, it is extensively used in the temperature control of mass concrete. Based on the thermodynamic database of OPC-based materials, the thermodynamic software GEM-Selektor (noted as GEMS) is used for simulating the hydration products of the LHP cement paste. Then, according to the GEMS thermodynamic simulation results, MATLAB is used to visualize the initial and ultimate stages of LHP cement pastes; the effects of curing temperature and water to cement (w/c) ratio on hydration products are addressed; and the porosity, fractal dimension, and tortuosity of different pastes are calculated. It is found that an appropriately high curing temperature is important for reducing porosity, especially in the early hydration stage. Hydration time also has a significant impact on the hydration of LHP cement paste; long hydration time may reduce the impact of temperature on hydration products. The w/c ratio is another important consideration regarding the hydration degree and porosity of LHP paste, and under different curing temperatures, hydration times, and w/c ratios, the porosity varies from 5.91–32.91%. The fractal dimension of this work agrees with the previous findings. From tortuosity analysis, it can be concluded that the high curing temperature may cause significant tortuosity, further affecting the effective diffusivity of LHP cement paste. For cement pastes with low w/c ratio, this high curing temperature effect is mainly reflected in the early hydration stage, for ones with high w/c ratio, it is in turn evident under long-term curing.

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