International Journal of Civil Engineering

, Volume 17, Issue 1, pp 61–74 | Cite as

Time-Dependent Evolution of Microstructure and Mechanical Properties of Mortar

  • Arne RöttgerEmail author
  • Bou-Young Youn-Čale
  • Jakob Küpferle
  • Jonathan Lentz
  • Rolf Breitenbücher
  • Werner Theisen
Research Paper


This study investigates the evolution of the microstructure and mechanical properties of mortar. Mortar samples consisting of Portland cement CEM I42.5 R (~ 60 vol% of quartz sand 0/2 mm, w/c-ratio of 0.5) were prepared and stored according to EN 1015. After 1, 2, 7, 14 and 28 days, the samples were oven-dried until constant weight as well as vacuum-dried. The microstructure of the mortar samples was investigated using scanning electron microscopy. Phase analysis was performed using X-ray diffraction, allowing the description of the crystalline phase evolution during hardening. Mechanical properties were evaluated using nanoindentation. Based on the nanoindentation results, the effective Young’s modulus was calculated using the model by Hashin and Shtrikman. The moduli calculated based on the values of the nanoindentation experiments were compared to the Young’s modulus determined in compression experiments. The results show that the Young’s modulus determined by the nanoindentation and compression test describes a degressive curve progression. The studies show a correlation between the results from nanoindentation tests and the mechanical properties obtained from the compression tests. Therefore, the microstructural evolution of mortar, including the influence of pores on Young’s modulus, must be taken into account to estimate the macroproperties from the nanoindentation tests.


Microstructural evolution of mortar Nanoindentation Scanning electron microscopy Young’s modulus Hashin and Shtrikman model 



Financial support was provided by the German Science Foundation (DFG) in the framework of the Collaborative Research Center SFB 837 “Interaction modeling in Mechanized Tunneling”. This support is gratefully acknowledged.


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Copyright information

© Iran University of Science and Technology 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Arne Röttger
    • 1
    Email author
  • Bou-Young Youn-Čale
    • 2
  • Jakob Küpferle
    • 3
  • Jonathan Lentz
    • 4
  • Rolf Breitenbücher
    • 6
  • Werner Theisen
    • 5
  1. 1.Department of Materials TechnologyRuhr-Universität BochumBochumGermany
  2. 2.Institute for Building MaterialsRuhr-Universität BochumBochumGermany
  3. 3.Department of Materials TechnologyRuhr-Universität BochumBochumGermany
  4. 4.Department of Materials TechnologyRuhr-Universität BochumBochumGermany
  5. 5.Department of Materials TechnologyRuhr-Universität BochumBochumGermany
  6. 6.Institute of Building MaterialsRuhr-Universität BochumBochumGermany

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