An explanation for the negative effect of elevated temperature at early ages on the late-age strength of concrete
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Elevated curing temperature at early ages usually has a negative effect on the late-age strength of concrete. This article aims to study the mechanism of this phenomenon. The results show that elevated curing temperature at early ages has a negative effect on the late-age strength of hardened cement paste, but it has a greater negative effect on the late-age strength of cement mortar. After elevated temperature curing at early ages, the late hydration of cement is hindered, but the late reaction of fly ash is not influenced. Owing to the continuous reaction of fly ash, the late-age pore structure of cement–fly ash paste under elevated curing temperature is finer than that under standard curing temperature, and the late-age strength of cement–fly ash paste under elevated curing temperature is higher. However, the late-age strength of cement–fly ash mortar under elevated curing temperature is lower. Apparently, there are differences between the effects of elevated curing temperature on hardened paste and mortar. It is the deterioration of transition zone between hardened paste and aggregate that makes the negative effect of elevated curing temperature on the mortar (or concrete) be greater than the hardened paste. As the water-to-binder ratio decreases, the negative effect of elevated curing temperature on the transition zone tends to be less.
KeywordsCompressive Strength Hydration Product Pozzolanic Reaction Hardened Cement Hydration Degree
Authors would like to acknowledge National Basic Research Program of China Grant (No. 2009CB623106) and Beijing Natural Science Foundation (No. 8100001).
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