Formwork Pressure of Self-Consolidating Concrete: Influence of Flocculation Mechanisms, Structural Rebuilding, Thixotropy and RheologyPublic Deposited
While self-consolidating concrete (SCC) may no longer be considered a "new concrete", there are still significant challenges to overcome before there is broader acceptance of SCC. One of these challenges concerns the formwork pressure exerted by SCC. A major advantage of SCC is the accelerated casting process due to the elimination of external vibration. However, faster casting rates may induce higher formwork pressure; this is a major concern for cast-in place applications, especially when casting tall elements. It has been reported that the formwork pressure of SCC can be less than hydrostatic pressure. This is due to the build-up of a three-dimensional structure when the concrete is left at rest. The development of this structure and the mechanisms behind it are of particular interest to users of SCC. >The research presented in this manuscript was carried out at the Center for Advanced Cement-Based Materials at Northwestern University and the Universidad Complutense de Madrid. This dissertation focuses on the structural rebuilding SCC and its implications for formwork pressure. Special emphasis was given to the influence of flocculation mechanisms and the impact of material constituents. A rheological protocol to characterize structural rebuilding was developed. This protocol can be used to assess the contributions from irreversible structural build-up from hydration and reversible structural rebuilding from thixotropic effects. The impact of various mixture ingredients, including cement type, mineral admixtures, chemical admixtures and clays, on the structural rebuilding was examined. The results showed that the rheological properties of the paste matrix and its evolution over time can be used as an indication of the formwork pressure behavior. Formwork pressure is highly impacted by the structural rebuilding that occurs in the paste matrix, and the results showed that formwork pressure is related to the rate at which structural rebuilding occurs and the total amount of structural build-up. In addition, a novel experimental technique was used to examine the flocculation and breakage mechanisms of cement paste suspensions subjected to shear using. It is believed to be the first time that direct investigation of the microstructural response of concentrated cement paste suspensions subjected to shear-induced stresses has occurred.