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Computers and Concrete
  Volume 22, Number 6, December 2018 , pages 551-561

A study on ITZ percolation threshold in mortar with ellipsoidal aggregate particles
Zichao Pan, Dalei Wang, Rujin Ma and Airong Chen

    The percolation of interfacial transition zone (ITZ) in cementitious materials is of great importance to the transport properties and durability issues. This paper presents numerical simulation research on the ITZ percolation threshold of mortar specimens at meso-scale. To simulate the meso-scale model of mortar as realistically as possible, the aggregates are simplified as ellipsoids with arbitrary orientations. Major and minor aspect ratios are defined to represent the global shape characteristics of aggregates. Some algorithms such as the burning algorithm, Dijkstra\'s algorithm and Connected-Component Labeling (CCL) algorithm are adopted for identification of connected ITZ clusters and percolation detection. The effects of gradation and aspect ratios of aggregates on ITZ percolation threshold are quantitatively studied. The results show that (1) the ITZ percolation threshold is mainly affected by the specific surface area (SSA) of aggregates and shows a global decreasing tendency with an increasing SSA; (2) elongated ellipsoidal particles can effectively bridge isolated ITZ clusters and thus lower the ITZ percolation threshold; (3) as ITZ volume fraction increases, the bridging effect of elongated particles will be less significant, and has only a minor effect on ITZ percolation threshold; (4) it is the ITZ connectivity that is essentially responsible for ITZ percolation threshold, while other factors such as SSA and ITZ volume fraction are only the superficial reasons.
Key Words
    interfacial transition zone; mortar; percolation threshold; ellipsoid; gradation
Zichao Pan, Dalei Wang, Rujin Ma and Airong Chen: Department of Bridge Engineering, Tongji University, 1239 Siping Road, Shanghai, 200092, China

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