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Materials 2017, 10(1), 59; doi:10.3390/ma10010059

Gel/Space Ratio Evolution in Ternary Composite System Consisting of Portland Cement, Silica Fume, and Fly Ash

Key Laboratory of Advanced Civil Engineering Materials, Ministry of Education, Tongji University, Shanghai 201804, China
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Academic Editor: Jorge de Brito
Received: 5 September 2016 / Revised: 22 December 2016 / Accepted: 5 January 2017 / Published: 11 January 2017
(This article belongs to the Section Structure Analysis and Characterization)
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Abstract

In cement-based pastes, the relationship between the complex phase assemblage and mechanical properties is usually described by the “gel/space ratio” descriptor. The gel/space ratio is defined as the volume ratio of the gel to the available space in the composite system, and it has been widely studied in the cement unary system. This work determines the gel/space ratio in the cement-silica fume-fly ash ternary system (C-SF-FA system) by measuring the reaction degrees of the cement, SF, and FA. The effects that the supplementary cementitious material (SCM) replacements exert on the evolution of the gel/space ratio are discussed both theoretically and practically. The relationship between the gel/space ratio and compressive strength is then explored, and the relationship disparities for different mix proportions are analyzed in detail. The results demonstrate that the SCM replacements promote the gel/space ratio evolution only when the SCM reaction degree is higher than a certain value, which is calculated and defined as the critical reaction degree (CRD). The effects of the SCM replacements can be predicted based on the CRD, and the theological predictions agree with the test results quite well. At low gel/space ratios, disparities in the relationship between the gel/space ratio and the compressive strength are caused by porosity, which has also been studied in cement unary systems. The ratio of cement-produced gel to SCM-produced gel ( G C to G S C M ratio) is introduced for use in analyzing high gel/space ratios, in which it plays a major role in creating relationship disparities. View Full-Text
Keywords: ternary composite system; compressive strength; reaction degree; gel/space ratio; porosity ternary composite system; compressive strength; reaction degree; gel/space ratio; porosity
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Wu, M.; Li, C.; Yao, W. Gel/Space Ratio Evolution in Ternary Composite System Consisting of Portland Cement, Silica Fume, and Fly Ash. Materials 2017, 10, 59.

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