Investigation of the microstructure and carbonation of CSA-based concretes removed from service

L Zhang, F P Glasser

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77 Citations (Scopus)


The microstructure, mineralogy and depth of carbonation of two concrete samples, one removed from a normal strength crane column and the other from a high-strength pile, are reported. The normal strength C (S) over barA cement concrete had a high w/c ratio; microstructural images show that clinker tends to hydrate almost completely. But for high-strength CSA cement concretes, made with low w/c ratios, large amounts of partially hydrated clinker grains remain as a microaggregate.

C (S) over barA cements and concretes are subject to carbonation in service conditions. The usual method of determining depth of carbonation, the phenolphthalein test, does not work with aged C (S) over barA matrices. A new method, using infrared microscopy, has been used to determine carbonation depth of aging C (S) over barA cement concrete. It has been shown that carbonation of a normal strength CSA cement concrete exposed to open air for 16 years averages similar to 0.5 mm/year, and is thus comparable with reported rates of carbonation of OPC concretes. The high-strength C (S) over barA concrete carbonated at a maximum rate of similar to 60 mu m/year. (c) 2004 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2252-2260
Number of pages9
JournalCement and Concrete Research
Publication statusPublished - 2005


  • calcium sulfoaluminate cement
  • carbonation
  • infrared microscopy


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