Jiayin Tao, Rita Maria Ghantous, Ming Jin, and Jason Weiss



The objective of this study is to determine whether the addition of silica fume (SF) can accelerate a reduction in the degree of saturation (DOS) of sealed cementitious materials at early ages, thereby increasing the freezing-and-thawing (F-T) resistance of the paste.

This study investigated the influence of SF on the F-T resistance of cementitious materials using two techniques. The first technique consists of quantifying the DOS of cementitious materials at early ages and compares it to the critical degree of saturation (DOSCR).

The second technique consists of determining the difference in the length of the cement paste sample before and after exposure to an F-T cycle at early ages. The change in length during the F-T cycle is an indicator of the development of damage caused by F-T. The DOS decreases faster when a higher amount of SF replaces cement.

Consequently, the DOS of SF cement paste samples are more likely to be below DOSCR faster than plain cement paste samples when the samples are sealed.