Journal article

Microstructural Modeling of Early-Age Creep in Hydrating Cement Paste

This paper presents a new approach to model the creep behavior of cement paste at early ages. The creep behavior is simulated by applying a time-varying generalized Maxwell model on the individual elements of a finite-element mesh of a simulated three-dimensional microstructure and compared with results in the literature. All mechanical properties of the constituent phases are taken from literature and Maxwell chain parameters are obtained by fitting the intrinsic creep of calcium silicate hydrate (C-S-H). A reasonable agreement between the simulations and the experimental results are obtained by assuming a constant C-S-H density of 2.0g/cm3. It was found that better agreements could be obtained at low degree of hydrations, by assuming a loosely packed C-S-H growing in the microstructure. It was also found that the short-term creep characteristics of C-S-H from nanoindentation can be used to reproduce macroscopic creep at least over a few days. The results show how numerical models can be used to upscale phase characteristics to macroscopic properties of composites. (C) 2016 American Society of Civil Engineers.


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