The effect of SAP on volumetric changes and microstructural alterations in PC-GGBS matrices

Fernando C.R. Almeida*, Rohollah Rostami, Agnieszka J. Klemm

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

3 Citations (Scopus)
85 Downloads (Pure)


Despite their growing popularity in construction, cement-based materials containing ground granulated blast-furnace slag (GGBS) may suffer from various deteriorative actions, including development of early cracks caused by shrinkage processes. Moreover, the degree of GGBS reaction (at later stages) can be limited by lack of space already filled by early products of Portland cement (PC) hydration. In attempt to reduce these negative effects, Superabsorbent polymers (SAP) can be used as internal curing agents and facilitate hydration processes. This paper intends to evaluate and correlate shrinkage behaviour and microstructural features of SAP-GGBS mortars during the first 90 days. Six sets of mortars (with 0% and 50% GGBS) modified by two SAPs were analysed. Autogenous, plastic and drying shrinkages were tested, and microstructural characteristics were analysed by the MIP technique. The experimental results showed significant effect of SAPs on shrinkage reduction in GGBS matrices. The paper argues that deposition of later GGBS hydration products in pores below 20 nm, triggered by SAP water, leads to a relative expansion of SAP-PC-GGBS mortars. In this context, the role of SAPs in GGBS-PC matrices is twofold: firstly, a provision of additional water for hydration and, secondly, a provision of the required space for later products formation.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication3rd International Conference on the Application of Superabsorbent Polymers (SAP) and Other New Admixtures Towards Smart Concrete
EditorsW.P. Boshoff, Riaan Combrinck, Viktor Mechtcherine, Mateusz Wyrzykowski
Number of pages9
ISBN (Electronic) 9783030333423
ISBN (Print)9783030333416
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Publication series

NameRILEM Bookseries
ISSN (Print)2211-0844


  • superabsorbent polymers
  • GGBS
  • hydration
  • shrinkage
  • porosity
  • Hydration
  • Superabsorbent polymers
  • Porosity
  • Shrinkage

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering(all)
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Building and Construction
  • Civil and Structural Engineering


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