Structure and properties of cement systems with additives of calcined clay and carbonate rocks

Building Materials

Currently, one of the primary areas of technical progress in the field of construction is creating modern high performance concretes based on modified cement binders using various chemical and mineral additives that allow effective control of the structure formation and properties of material. The stock of the conventional additives for cement systems is failing to meet the increasing demand, which is related to territorial limitations and high cost of the most popular and efficient mineral modifiers (silica fume, metakaolin, fly ash, granulated slag, etc.). In this respect, thermally activated polymineral clays used as individual mineral additives and in complexes with carbonate rocks are promising for many regions of the Russian Federation, including the Republic of Mordovia. The paper presents results of studying the patterns in which mineral additives obtained on the basis of local raw materials of the Republic of Mordovia (calcined polymineral clay, dolomite and thermally activated mixture of clay and limestone) influence the technological characteristics of plasticized cement paste, phase composition and physical-mechanical properties of cement stone. Optimal dosages of mineral additives of calcined clay and thermally activated mixture of clay and limestone were identified: they did not exceed 19 and 12 % by binder weight, respectively. These dosages improved strength characteristics of cement systems in comparison with the control composition without the additives. X-ray powder diffraction established that using the developed mineral additives based on calcined polymineral clay and carbonate rocks increased hydration rate of Portland cement and allowed a targeted guidance of the cement stone phase composition: optimizing the ettringite concentration, reducing the number of the weakest and corrosion-exposed Portlandite crystals, increasing the density and strength of the bulk of calcium hydrosilicates by shifting the balance towards an increased content of highly dispersive low basic phases of C–S–H(I) type instead of high basic C–S–H(II) compounds. All of these factors determined the chemical efficiency of these mineral modifiers in cement systems.