This paper evaluates the effect of superabsorbent polymers (SAP) on hydration and microstructure of PC-GGBS mortars. Development of autogenous shrinkage, microstructural characteristics (MIP/SEM) and compressive strength were analysed during the first 90 days. Four levels of Portland cement (PC) replacement by GGBS (0%, 25%, 50% and 75%) and two types of SAP with different water absorption capacities were considered. The results proved the efficiency of internal curing by SAPs in PC-GGBS systems due to significant reduction in autogenous shrinkage, especially for higher contents of GGBS. SAP facilitates GGBS hydration activated by portlandite; its products can be deposited into the nano pores leading to a small relative expansion of the hardened bulk volume. This process is initiated during the second week and it lasts until the sixth week. Despite increased total porosity, compressive strength of SAPs modified mortars is comparable to the reference samples for low GGBS contents in advanced ages.
- Autogenous shrinkage
- Ground granulated blast-furnace slag (GGBS)
- Superabsorbent polymers (SAP)