The interfacial transition zone (ITZ) between cement paste and aggregate in concrete
This paper describes the so called interfacial transition zone - ITZ - in concrete. This is the region of the cement paste around the aggregate particles, which is perturbed by the presence of the aggregate. Its origin lies in the packing of the cement grains against the much larger aggregate, which leads to a local increase in porosity and predominance of smaller cement particles in this region. The ITZ is region of gradual transition and is highly heterogeneous, nevertheless the average microstructural features may be measured by analysis of a large numbers of backscattered electron images of polished concrete samples. Such measurements show that the higher porosity present initially is significantly diminished by the migration of ions during hydration.