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Dale P. Bentz and Edward J. Garboczi
Building 226, Room B-348
Center for Building Technology
Building Materials Division
National Institute of Standards and Technology
Gaithersburg, MD 20899
A three-dimensional digital-image-based simulation model of cement hydration is used to study the percolation or connectivity of phases as a function of hydration. Results from an investigation of the effects of water-to-cement ratio, degree of hydration, and the substitution of inert and pozzolanic mineral admixtures for cement, on the connectivity of the capillary porosity are presented. For all scenarios studied, plotting pore connectivity vs. total porosity results in a single universal curve. Based on this curve, the degree of hydration required to achieve pore discontinuity as a function of w/c ratio and pozzolanic filler concentration has been determined. Similar universal curves have been obtained for the connectivity of the calcium silicate hydrate and calcium hydroxide phases in hydrated neat cement when plotted against the appropriate phase fraction. Simulation results are analyzed using percolation theory, and are applied to interpreting observed experimental results concerning cement properties as a function of hydration.