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Smart Structures and Systems
  Volume 25, Number 6, June 2020, pages 751-764

Electro-mechanical impedance based strength monitoring technique for hydrating blended cements
Thirumalaiselvi, A. and Saptarshi Sasmal

    Real-time monitoring of stiffness and strength in cement based system has received significant attention in past few decades owing to the development of advanced techniques. Also, use of environment friendly supplementary cementitious materials (SCM) in cement, though gaining huge interest, severely affect the strength gain especially in early ages. Continuous monitoring of strength- and stiffness- gain using an efficient technique will systematically facilitate to choose the suitable time of removal of formwork for structures made with SCM incorporated concrete. This paper presents a technique for monitoring the strength and stiffness evolution in hydrating fly ash blended cement systems using electro-mechanical impedance (EMI) based technique. It is important to observe that the slower pozzolanic reactivity of fly ash blended cement systems could be effectively tracked using the evolution of equivalent local stiffness of the hydrating medium. Strength prediction models are proposed for estimating the strength and stiffness of the fly ash cement system, where curing age (in terms of hours/days) and the percentage replacement of cement by fly ash are the parameters. Evaluation of strength as obtained from EMI characteristics is validated with the results from destructive compression test and also compared with the same obtained from commonly used ultrasonic wave velocity (UPV). Statistical error indices indicate that the EMI technique is capable of predicting the strength of fly ash blended cement system more accurate than that from UPV. Further, the correlations between stiffness- and strength- gain over the time of hydration are also established. From the study, it is found that EMI based method can be effectively used for monitoring of strength gain in the fly ash incorporated cement system during hardening.
Key Words
    impedance; hydration; fly ash blended cement; ultrasonics; strength gain; stiffness
Special and Multifunctional Structures Laboratory, CSIR-Structural Engineering Research Centre, Taramani, Chennai-600113, India.

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