Limestone is widely used in the construction industry to produce Portland limestone cement (PLC) concrete. Systematic evaluations of hydration kinetics, compressive strength development, and carbonation resistance are crucial for the rational use of limestone. This study presents a hydration-based model for evaluating the influences of limestone on the strength and carbonation of concrete. First, the hydration model analyzes the dilution effect and the nucleation effect of limestone during the hydration of cement. The degree of cement hydration is calculated by considering concrete mixing proportions, binder properties, and curing conditions. Second, by using the gel–space ratio, the compressive strength of PLC concrete is evaluated. The interactions among water-to-binder ratio, limestone replacement ratio, and strength development are highlighted. Third, the carbonate material contents and porosity are calculated from the hydration model and are used as input parameters for the carbonation model. By considering concrete microstructures and environmental conditions, the carbon dioxide diffusivity and carbonation depth of PLC concrete are evaluated. The proposed model has been determined to be valid for concrete with various water-to-binder ratios, limestone contents, and curing periods.
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