Assessment of early age properties of cementitious system through isopropanol-water replacement in the mixing water
In this study, a new method to assess early properties of cementitious materials by water-solvent replacement is investigated. Isopropanol was used to replace a part of mixing water of binder paste, limiting the maximum degree of hydration it can achieve. Results of four independent methods (calorimetry, thermo-gravimetric analysis, back-scattered electron imaging and mechanical strength) confirmed that the hydration reactions of the cement have been effectively delayed and suppressed due to the presence of isopropanol. A set of curves is obtained to identify the appropriate combination of i) the extent of water-isopropanol replacement and ii) time for achieving the targeted degree of hydration. This allows assessing material properties at low and/or desired degree of hydration with less time limitation during sample manipulation, achieving a better preserved and homogeneous microstructure. It has however to be noted that this method has limits with respect to direct moisture-transport related studies. (C) 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.