A Review of the Mechanical Properties and Durability of Ecological Concretes in a Cold Climate in Comparison to Standard Ordinary Portland Cement-Based Concrete

Ankit Kothari, Karin Habermehl-Cwirzen, Hans Hedlund, Andrzej Cwirzen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Most of the currently used concretes are based on ordinary Portland cement (OPC) which results in a high carbon dioxide footprint and thus has a negative environmental impact. Replacing OPCs, partially or fully by ecological binders, i.e., supplementary cementitious materials (SCMs) or alternative binders, aims to decrease the carbon dioxide footprint. Both solutions introduced a number of technological problems, including their performance, when exposed to low, subfreezing temperatures during casting operations and the hardening stage. This review indicates that the present knowledge enables the production of OPC-based concretes at temperatures as low as −10 °C, without the need of any additional measures such as, e.g., heating. Conversely, composite cements containing SCMs or alkali-activated binders (AACs) showed mixed performances, ranging from inferior to superior in comparison with OPC. Most concretes based on composite cements require pre/post heat curing or only a short exposure to sub-zero temperatures. At the same time, certain alkali-activated systems performed very well even at −20 °C without the need for additional curing. Chemical admixtures developed for OPC do not always perform well in other binder systems. This review showed that there is only a limited knowledge on how chemical admixtures work in ecological concretes at low temperatures and how to accelerate the hydration rate of composite cements containing high amounts of SCMs or AACs, when these are cured at subfreezing temperatures.
Original languageEnglish
Article number3467
Number of pages32
JournalMaterials
Volume13
Issue number16
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 6 Aug 2020

Keywords

  • ordinary Portland cement (OPC)
  • supplementary cementitious materials (SCM)
  • alkali-activated concrete (AAC)
  • chemical admixtures
  • sustainable concrete
  • mechanical properties
  • frost durability

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