Carbonation of hydrated cement paste (HCP) causes numerous chemo-mechanical changes in the microstructure, e.g., porosity, strength, elastic modulus, and permeability, which have a significant influence on the durability of concrete structures. Due to its complexity, much is still not understood about the process of carbonation of HCP. The current study aims to reveal the changes in porosity and micromechanical properties caused by carbonation using micro-beam specimens with a cross-section of 500 μm x 500 μm. X-ray computed tomography and micro-beam bending tests were performed on both noncarbonated and carbonated HCP micro-beams for porosity characterization and micromechanical property measurements, respectively. The experimental results show that the carbonation decreases the total porosity and increases micromechanical properties of the HCP micro-beams under the accelerated carbonation. The correlation study revealed that both the flexural strength and elastic modulus increase linearly with decreasing porosity.
- Hydrated cement paste
- Micromechanical properties