The need for sustainability in construction has encouraged scientists to develop novel environmentally friendly materials. The use of supplementary cementitious materials was one such initiative which aided in enhancing the fresh and hardened concrete properties. This thesis aims to explore the understanding of the early age rheological properties of such cementitious systems.
The first phase of the work investigates the influence of supplementary cementitious materials (SCM) in combination with ordinary Portland cement (OPC) on the rheological properties of fresh paste with and without the effect of superplasticizers. Yield stress, plastic viscosity and storage modulus are the rheological parameters which were evaluated for all the design mixtures to fundamentally understand the synergistic effects of the SCM. A time-dependent study was conducted on these blends to explore the structure formation at various time intervals which explains the effect of hydration in conjecture to its physical stiffening. The second phase focuses on the rheological characterization of novel iron powder based binder system.
The results of this work indicate that the rheological characteristics of cementitious suspensions are complex, and strongly dependent on several key parameters including: the solid loading, inter-particle forces, shape of the particle, particle size distribution of the particles, and rheological nature of the media in which the particles are suspended. Chemical composition and reactivity of the material play an important role in the time-dependent rheological study.
A stress plateau method is utilized for the determination of rheological properties of concentrated suspensions, as it better predicts the apparent yield stress and is shown to correlate well with other viscoelastic properties of the suspensions. Plastic viscosity is obtained by calculating the slope of the stress-strain rate curve of ramp down values of shear rates. In oscillatory stress measurements the plateau obtained within the linear visco-elastic region was considered to be the value for storage modulus.
Between the different types of fly ash, class F fly ash indicated a reduction in the rheological parameters as opposed to class C fly ash that is attributable to the enhanced ettringite formation in the latter. Use of superplasticizer led to a huge influence on yield stress and storage modulus of the paste due to the steric hindrance effect.
In the study of iron based binder systems, metakaolin had comparatively higher influence than fly ash on the rheology due to its tendency to agglomerate as opposed to the ball bearing effect observed in the latter. Iron increment above 60% resulted in a decrease in all the parameters of rheology discussed in this thesis. In the OPC-iron binder, the iron behaved as reinforcements yielding higher yield stress and plastic viscosity.