Indian Institute of Technology Madras researchers have provided clarity on the link between microstructural development and durability performance of concrete through their investigation on concrete with ternary blended (i.e. three component) cements, which will help the construction industry to produce more eco-friendly concrete than available now.
Concrete is the most widely used construction material in the world – 7 cubic kilometres of concrete are manufactured each year, which works to 1 cubic metre of concrete for every human on earth. Conventional concrete is made of cement, fine aggregate particles such as sand and coarse aggregate particles from rock, mixed with water; this mixture hardens with time because of the reaction of cement with water.
Modern concrete, however, includes chemical and mineral additives that impart unique properties. It is common today to find the cement to be a mixture of two or three different ingredients. The current research study deals with the exploration of properties of a three-component cement. The study unravels the complex nature of interactions of this three-component system involving ordinary cement, limestone powder and calcined clay, called LC3, which leads to the production of highly durable concrete in aggressive environments such as sea water.
The IIT Madras team studied the role of physical structure alterations on three binder types – plain Portland cement, fly ash-based binder and calcined clay-limestone binder (LC3).