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In situ interactions of concretes with mudstones from Horonobe URL

Anraku, Sohtaro; Sato, Hisao*; Walker, C.*; Amano, Yuki   ; Sakurai, Akitaka; Nakayama, Masashi ; Tachi, Yukio  

High content Fly ash Silica fume Cement (HFSC) has been developed as an alternative to ordinary Portland cement (OPC) to minimize the adverse effects caused by the formation of a hyperalkaline plume. In situ experiments were conducted at the Horonobe underground research laboratory (Hokkaido, Japan) where HFSC and OPC concretes were aged for 5.5 to 9.5 years in mudstones. Samples of the concrete/mudstone interface were then collected and characterized by EPMA, SEM and micro-XRD to evaluate the mineralogical changes. Similar mineralogical changes were observed across the concrete/mudstone interface for both HFSC and OPC experiments, and were associated with Ca depletion from the concretes and Ca diffusion into the mudstone. Ca depletion from HFSC and OPC was driven by the dissolution of C-A-S-H gel and portlandite, respectively. The higher solubility of portlandite led to greater Ca depletion and the mineralogical changes being more pronounced in the case of the OPC experiment. A crust of calcite formed at the concrete/mudstone interface by the reaction of Ca with the Na-HCO$$_{3}$$ dominant mudstone porewater. Ca diffusion into the mudstone caused the precipitation of secondary C-A-S-H minerals with compositions equivalent to the zeolite minerals clinoptilolite and/or phillipsite. Although the mineralogical changes were similar, they were more pronounced in the OPC experiment. HFSC is therefore considered a better alternative to OPC to minimize the adverse effects caused by the formation of a hyperalkaline plume.

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