Report of RILEM TC 281-CCC: outcomes of a round robin on the resistance to accelerated carbonation of Portland, Portland-fly ash and blast-furnace blended cements

Carmen Andrade, Nele De Belie, Vilma Ducman, Lander Frederickx, Barbara Lothenbach, César Medina Martinez, Anya Vollpracht, Bei Wu, Elke Gruyaert*, More Authors

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


Many (inter)national standards exist to evaluate the resistance of mortar and concrete to carbonation. When a carbonation coefficient is used for performance comparison of mixtures or service life prediction, the applied boundary conditions during curing, preconditioning and carbonation play a crucial role, specifically when using latent hydraulic or pozzolanic supplementary cementitious materials (SCMs). An extensive interlaboratory test (ILT) with twenty two participating laboratories was set up in the framework of RILEM TC 281-CCC ‘Carbonation of Concrete with SCMs’. The carbonation depths and coefficients determined by following several (inter)national standards for three cement types (CEM I, CEM II/B-V, CEM III/B) both on mortar and concrete scale were statistically compared. The outcomes of this study showed that the carbonation rate based on the carbonation depths after 91 days exposure, compared to 56 days or less exposure duration, best approximates the slope of the linear regression and those 91 days carbonation depths can therefore be considered as a good estimate of the potential resistance to carbonation. All standards evaluated in this study ranked the three cement types in the same order of carbonation resistance. Unfortunately, large variations within and between laboratories complicate to draw clear conclusions regarding the effect of sample pre-conditioning and carbonation exposure conditions on the carbonation performance of the specimens tested. Nevertheless, it was identified that fresh and hardened state properties alone cannot be used to infer carbonation resistance of the mortars or concretes tested. It was also found that sealed curing results in larger carbonation depths compared to water curing. However, when water curing was reduced from 28 to 3 or 7 days, higher carbonation depths compared to sealed curing were observed. This increase is more pronounced for CEM I compared to CEM III mixes. The variation between laboratories is larger than the potential effect of raising the CO2 concentration from 1 to 4%. Finally, concrete, for which the aggregate-to-cement factor was increased by 1.79 in comparison with mortar, had a carbonation coefficient 1.18 times the one of mortar.

Original languageEnglish
Article number99
Number of pages29
JournalMaterials and Structures/Materiaux et Constructions
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2022

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  • Carbonation
  • Cement
  • CO concentration
  • Curing
  • Fly ash
  • Ground granulated blast-furnace slag


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