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Concrete Cement Essay

1696 words - 7 pages

Concrete is a building material that has lasted the test of time, being used since before the Roman Empire to present day. A ceramic composite made of aggregate and some type of binding matrix, concrete has a wide array of different types and applications. Pervious concrete, also know as porous concrete, no-fines, permeable, or enhanced porosity concrete (EPC), is a type of concrete that allows water to flow through it at incredibly high rates due to its particular composition and structure. Due to this unique property, the EPA has proposed pervious concrete be used as a substitute for typical concrete found in roads, parking lots, roofs, and other open areas across the United States to ...view middle of the document...

The underlying structural difference between pervious and conventional concrete and how is pervious has large void space the void space of pervious concrete ranges from 15-35 %, whereas conventional concrete ranges from 3-5% (EPA). This porosity, hence the name porous concrete, is due to using a mondisperse aggregate size with the exclusion of most to all of the fine aggregate that would normally fill these voids in a typical concrete. Aggregate typically used in pervious applications has a grading between 3/4th and 3/8th of an inch (ACI book).
The desired property of pervious concrete is that is be porous and permeable to water. This is done using a monodisperse rough aggregate that leaves a large voids content in the concrete. This change in processing and structure leads to changes in other properties that are both desirable and undesirable such as: compressive strength, percolation rate, durability, and acoustic absorption. Of course void size can also be manipulated in pervious concrete, which can lead to different properties amongst different pervious concretes.
Generally as one increase the void content in a concrete the compressive strength of the concrete is lowered. This follows a linear relationship at low void content that is demonstrated by Figure 1: (compressive strength vs air content). As one can see from the figure a concrete with 20 % void space will roughly have half the compressive strength of a concrete with 10% void space. To combat this problem researchers have found a couple promising ways to increase compressive strength while maintaining porous behavior. Increasing water to cement ratio has shown an increase in density and compressive strength but also shows a slight decrease in void content. Similarity, increasing the amount of cement used in the pervious concrete mix lead to increased density and compressive strength, and a decrease in void content (Sonebi ). Studies have also shown promising results in strength when geopolymers are used in place of traditional Portland cement (Tawatchai). Using a combination of latex, sand, and natural fibers has also shown very promising results in increasing strength of pervious concrete. While latex and sand have been shown to create clogging problems in pervious concrete, the combination of the two looks to show significantly increased compressive strength without much reduction in percolation rate. (Huang, Baoshan ). While laboratory tests are fantastic at finding new and innovative ways to strengthen pervious concrete one should be cautious of differences in samples made for laboratories and field samples. (Putman, Bradley)
Whereas compressive strength is inversely related to void content of the cement, percolation rate is directly related to porosity of pervious concrete. The challenge of utilizing pervious concrete is designing a concrete that has the right balance of porosity to allow for manageable percolation and compressive strength. In order to have significant...

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