Manuscript received November 1, 2022; revised January 5, 2023; accepted February 2, 2023.
Abstract—The physico-chemical and durability properties of the concrete depend on how efficiently the curing process occurs. Cement particles undergo a series of chemical reactions with water molecules to form several cement hydration products during curing. However, the low water to cement ratio in concretes, such as high-performance concrete (HPC) and ultra-HPC with supplementary cementitious materials, lack enough water molecules for the curing process to complete, resulting in autogenous shrinkage and hence early age micro cracking. Mitigation of shrinkage is a mandatory requirement in sustainable construction projects, which can be achieved through proper curing of HPC. This paper reports the effects of superabsorbent polymer (SAP) as internal curing material on the properties of hardened HPC monitored by N2-adsorption, X-ray diffraction (XRD), and FT-IR spectroscopy after 28 days of curing in water and air. The N2 adsorption analysis showed an increase in total porosity of the specimens with SAP due to the formation of more macro pores. Higher amounts of Ca(OH)2 were detected in samples with SAP by the X-ray diffraction analysis indicating the formation of more cement hydration in those specimens.
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