Jedadiah F. Burroughs, Charles A. Weiss Jr., John E. Haddock, and W. Jason Weiss



This study presents the application of an analytical model to describe the rheological behavior of cement pastes containing silica fume at replacement rates of up to 30% by mass.

The analytical model hypothesizes how water interacts with particles in a cementitious system. The coating thickness of water surrounding each particle in the system is estimated. This coating thickness is shown to correlate strongly with measured rheological properties when fit to the Herschel-Bulkley model.

To calculate coating thickness, it is necessary to account for the water absorbed by nonhydraulic components in the system, whether aggregate, supplementary cementitious materials, or mineral. The results suggest that silica fume particles may be absorptive, and this absorption capacity, although small, must be considered when designing water-starved cementitious materials.

The experimental investigation involved the rheological testing of three water-binder ratios (0.20, 0.30, 0.45), three silica fume replacement levels (10%, 20%, 30%), and eight different silica fume products.


absorbed moisture; cement paste; silica fume; specific surface; surface moisture; ultra-high-performance concrete; workability