MODERN ROUTES TO EXPLORE CONCRETE’S COMPLEX PORE SPACE

Piet Stroeven, Zhanqi Guo

Abstract

This paper concentrates on discrete element computer-simulation of concrete. It is argued on the basis of stochastic heterogeneity theory that modern concurrent-algorithm-based systems should be employed for the assessment of pore characteristics underlying durability performance of cementitious materials. The SPACE system was developed at Delft University of Technology for producing realistic schematizations of realcrete for a wide range of other particle packing problems, involving aggregate and fresh cement, and for the purpose of exploring characteristics in the hardened state of concrete, including of the pore network structure because of obvious durability problems. Since structure-sensitive properties are involved, schematization of reality should explicitly deal with the configuration of the cement particles in the fresh state. The paper concentrates on the stereological and mathematical morphology operations executed to acquire information on particle size, global porosity, and on distribution of porosity and of the connected pore fraction as a result of the near neighbourhood of aggregate grains. Goal is to provide information obtained along different exploration routes of concrete's pore space for setting up a pore network modelling approach. This type of methodological papers is scarce in concrete technology, if not missing at all. Technical publications that report on obtained results in our investigations are systematically referred to.

Keywords
concrete; discrete element computer-simulation; mathematical morphology; particle dispersion; porosity; stereology

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DOI: 10.5566/ias.v25.p75-86

Image Analysis & Stereology
EISSN 1854-5165 (Electronic version)
ISSN 1580-3139 (Printed version)