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Advances in Concrete Construction   Volume 4, Number 2, June 2016, pages 71-88
Fracture behavior and pore structure of concrete with metakaolin
Burcu Akcay, Cengiz Sengul and Mehmet ali Tasdemir

Abstract     [Full Text]
    Metakaolin, a dehydroxylated product of the mineral kaolinite, is one of the most valuable admixtures for high-performance concrete applications, including constructing reinforced concrete bridges and impact- and fire-resistant structures. Concretes produced using metakaolin become more homogeneous and denser compared to normal-strength concrete. Yet, these changes cause a change of volume throughout hardening, and increase the brittleness of hardened concrete significantly. In order to examine how the use of metakaolin affects the fracture and mechanical behavior of high-performance concrete we produced concretes using a range of water to binder ratio (0.42, 0.35 and 0.28) at three different weight fractions of metakaolin replacement (8%, 16% and 24%). The results showed that the rigidity of concretes increased with using 8% and 16% metakaolin, while it decreased in all series with 24% of metakaolin replacement. Similar effect has also been observed for other mechanical properties. While the peak loads in load-displacement curves of concretes decreased significantly with increasing water to binder ratio, this effect have been found to be diminished by using metakaolin. Pore structure analysis through mercury intrusion porosimetry test showed that the addition of metakaolin decreased the critical pore size of paste phases of concrete, and increasing the amount of metakaolin reduced the total porosity for the specimens with low water to binder ratios in particular. To determine the optimal values of water to binder ratio and metakaolin content in producing high-strength and high-performance concrete we applied a multi-objective optimization, where several responses were simultaneously assessed to find the best solution for each parameter.
Key Words
    Metakaolin; brittleness; fracture energy; pore structure; mechanical strength; optimization
Burcu Akcay: Department of Civil Engineering, University of Kocaeli, Umuttepe 41380, Turkey

Cengiz Sengul and Mehmet ali Tasdemir: Civil Engineering Faculty, Istanbul Technical University, Maslak 34469, Istanbul, Turkey

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