X-Ray Micro Tomography of Water Absorption by Superabsorbent Polymers in Mortar

Claudia Romero Rodriguez, Maxim Deprez, Fernando F. de Mendonca Filho, Stefanie van Offenwert, Veerle Cnudde, Erik Schlangen, Branko Šavija

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Abstract

Superabsorbent Polymers (SAP) have been recently subject of investigation as smart admixtures for cement-based materials. The properties of these polymers enable their use for internal curing, increasing freeze/thaw resistance, boosting autogenous self-healing and providing a crack self-sealing effect in cementitious composites. Except for the earliest application, the functioning of these beneficial effects invloves the absorption by the polymers of ingress water in the hardened cementitious matrix and later release, as well as their capacity to complete multiple absorption/desorption cycles. In this work, the absorption of water in mortar with superabsorbent polymers is monitored during the first 60 min of absorption through micro-CT. The experimental series included the presence of cracks. The registration and differentiation of sub-minute (18 s) scans enabled the individuation of bulk water content distribution in the mortar with a resolution of 55 μm. The swollen volume of SAP could also be quantified and studied in time. The results point out that although embedded SAP absorb water from the matrix, this absorption is slow and reduced with respect to water absorption during mixing for the used SAP. Same effect is observed for SAP in the cracks.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSAP 2019: 3rd International Conference on the Application of Superabsorbent Polymers (SAP) and Other New Admixtures Towards Smart Concrete
EditorsWilliam P. Boshoff, Viktor Mechtcherine, Riaan Combrinck, Mateusz Wyrzykowski
PublisherSpringer
Pages29-37
Number of pages9
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-030-33342-3
ISBN (Print)978-3-030-33341-6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Publication series

NameRILEM Bookseries
Volume24
ISSN (Print)2211-0844
ISSN (Electronic)2211-0852

Keywords

  • Concrete durability
  • Mortar
  • SAP
  • X-ray micro computed tomography

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    Rodriguez, C. R., Deprez, M., de Mendonca Filho, F. F., van Offenwert, S., Cnudde, V., Schlangen, E., & Šavija, B. (2020). X-Ray Micro Tomography of Water Absorption by Superabsorbent Polymers in Mortar. In W. P. Boshoff, V. Mechtcherine, R. Combrinck, & M. Wyrzykowski (Eds.), SAP 2019: 3rd International Conference on the Application of Superabsorbent Polymers (SAP) and Other New Admixtures Towards Smart Concrete (pp. 29-37). (RILEM Bookseries; Vol. 24). Springer. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-33342-3_4