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Title: Transport properties of damaged materials. Cementitious barriers partnership

The objective of the Cementitious Barriers Partnership (CBP) project is to develop tools to improve understanding and prediction of the long-term structural, hydraulic, and chemical performance of cementitious barriers used in low level waste storage applications. One key concern for the long-term durability of concrete is the degradation of the cementitious matrix, which occurs as a result of aggressive chemical species entering the material or leaching out in the environment, depending on the exposure conditions. The objective of the experimental study described in this report is to provide experimental data relating damage in cementitious materials to changes in transport properties, which can eventually be used to support predictive model development. In order to get results within a reasonable timeframe and to induce as much as possible uniform damage level in materials, concrete samples were exposed to freezing and thawing (F/T) cycles. The methodology consisted in exposing samples to F/T cycles and monitoring damage level with ultrasonic pulse velocity measurements. Upon reaching pre-selected damage levels, samples were tested to evaluate changes in transport properties. Material selection for the study was motivated by the need to get results rapidly, in order to assess the relevance of the methodology. Consequently, samples already availablemore » at SIMCO from past studies were used. They consisted in three different concrete mixtures cured for five years in wet conditions. The mixtures had water-to-cement ratios of 0.5, 0.65 and 0.75 and were prepared with ASTM Type I cement only. The results showed that porosity is not a good indicator for damage caused by the formation of microcracks. Some materials exhibited little variations in porosity even for high damage levels. On the other hand, significant variations in tortuosity were measured in all materials. This implies that damage caused by internal pressure do not necessarily creates additional pore space in the microstructure but likely creates new thin pathways between existing pore space for species to travel. These results have a significant impact on modeling efforts. Models relating porosity to tortuosity and permeability are unlikely to provide the correct basis for predicting long-term durability of concrete sustaining internal pressures and microcrack formation. Other avenues like the modeling of internal crystallization pressure need to be explored.« less
  1. Savannah River Site (SRS), Aiken, SC (United States). Savannah River National Lab. (SRNL)
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Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
Savannah River Site (SRS), Aiken, SC (United States)
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Country of Publication:
United States