Effect of sedimentation on the rheological properties of cement pastes


Rheology has been widely used to describe the flow properties of fresh cement-based suspensions. Nevertheless, the characterization and understanding of the rheological behavior of cement-based materials have become essential with the recent introduction of novel applications like digital construction in the field of civil engineering, among others. It has been well documented that concrete and mortar may suffer stability problems (i.e. the ability of the mixture to maintain homogeneous). At the scale of cement paste, this phenomenon can still arise and affect the rheological properties of the measured paste. Therefore, inaccuracies during the measurements and incorrect interpretation may occur, resulting in erroneous conclusions. This study explores the impact of sedimentation of cement particles when characterizing the rheological properties of cement paste. The w/c employed in the pastes were 0.45 and 0.35 with the addition of superplasticizer to obtain a dispersed system. The rheological properties were measured using a coaxial cylinder configuration and followed up to 180 min after the contact between cement and water. Repeated measurements were executed with and without a homogenization procedure after each application of a measuring procedure. Comparing the results shows a clear influence of sedimentation on the evolution of rheological properties with time, and the effect is more pronounced for the mixtures with high w/c and for the procedure with the larger shear rate. Therefore, it is strongly recommended to keep a measuring procedure sufficiently short in duration.

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Data will be made available on request.


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The research team would like to acknowledge the University of Missouri Research Board (UMRB) and the Center for Infrastructure Studies (CIES) at Missouri S&T for the financial support and the use of the equipment.

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Correspondence to Dimitri Feys.

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Ley-Hernández, A.M., Feys, D. Effect of sedimentation on the rheological properties of cement pastes. Mater Struct 54, 47 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1617/s11527-021-01619-8

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  • Cement-based materials
  • Rheology
  • Testing procedure
  • Sedimentation
  • Time
  • Workability loss