EFFECT OF NANOSILICA ON THE MECHANICAL AND MICROSTRUCTURAL PROPERTIES OF A NORMAL STRENGTH CONCRETE PRODUCED IN NIGERIA
Keywords:Compressive strength, Tensile strength, Normal strength nano-concrete, SEM, EDS.
The failure of conventional concrete to have classical mechanical properties, reduced permeability and lead to sustainability in concrete production called for the use of supplementary Cementitious Materials (SCM) in concrete to improve its performance. This study investigates the effect of adding optimal dosage of an SCM called nanosilica (nS) on the tensile and compressive strengths, microstructural properties and cement hydration reaction for grade 30 concrete. The optimal dosage of the nS was determined to be 1.5% by weight of cement using compressive strength test. The influence of optimal nS dosage on the concrete properties was investigated using compressive strength test, splitting tensile strength test, Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) and Energy Dispersion Spectroscopy (EDS). Results revealed that optimal nS addition led to 30% and 23.3% respective increase in compressive and tensile strengths of conventional concrete at 7days of curing. SEM micrographs show better packing density in the nano-concrete at 90days of curing. EDS shows that addition of optimal nS dosage in concrete led to formation of more C-S-H gels at 90days curing period, and a corresponding reduction in Ca/Si ratio of the nano-concrete to 0.89; a ratio that is very close to that of 14? tobermorite reported in literature. The optimal nano-concrete can be used where strength improvement, especially at early age and reduction in concrete permeability are requirements.
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