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Open AccessArticle

The Influence of Metakaolinite on the Development of Thermal Cracks in a Cement Matrix

Faculty of Civil Engineering and Architecture, Lublin University of Technology, 40 Nadbystrzycka Str., 20-618 Lublin, Poland
Materials 2018, 11(4), 520; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma11040520
Received: 6 March 2018 / Revised: 18 March 2018 / Accepted: 27 March 2018 / Published: 29 March 2018
In the paper the cluster cracks of cement paste that has been modified with metakaolinite was analyzed. The samples were loaded with an elevated temperature based on a thermal shock. To describe the crack structure, three stereological parameters were proposed to measure: (i) the cluster average area ( A ¯ ); (ii) the cluster average perimeter ( L ¯ ); and (iii) the crack average width ( I ¯ ). The computer image analysis was implemented in the study, and 4 series of samples were subjected to the examination. In two series, metakaolinite was used as a substitute for 10% of a cement’s mass. An assessment of the basic physico-mechanical characteristics of the cement matrix was also carried out. The structure of the cement paste was considered as a highly concentrated dispersion system, in which the interactions between the cement’s grains at the initial stage of the structure self-assembly affect the crack characteristics. The study has been supplemented with microstructural investigations using a scanning electron microscope and an X-ray microanalyzer. The conducted research indicated the direction of changes in the geometrical characteristics of thermal cracks if the technological variables of the material are subjected to modification. It was also confirmed that the cluster structures have fractal character and can be analyzed and observed on many levels of a structural heterogeneity. View Full-Text
Keywords: cluster cracks; clusters; cement paste; metakaolinite; image analysis; dispersion system cluster cracks; clusters; cement paste; metakaolinite; image analysis; dispersion system
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Szeląg, M. The Influence of Metakaolinite on the Development of Thermal Cracks in a Cement Matrix. Materials 2018, 11, 520.

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