This ICT Prize-winning paper argues that superabsorbent polymers (SAP) can be used for internal curing and reduction of cracking susceptibility, due to their high capacity of water control in fresh concrete. SAP efficiency in autogenous shrinkage reduction in blended cements containing ground granulated blastfurnace slag has been evaluated. The study focused on mortars with four levels of cement replacement by GGBS and two types of SAP with different water absorption capacities. Tests of consistency (flow table method), air content of fresh mortar (pressure method) and autogenous shrinkage (corrugated tubes method) have been carried out. The results showed that SAP can significantly reduce autogenous shrinkage for any studied GGBS content in comparison with the reference mortar. In addition to the positive environmental impact of using GGBS, the reduction of autogenous shrinkage by SAP may decrease the cracking susceptibility and hence increase the sustainability level of the material for more durable construction.
Author: Fernando C R Almeida, Agnieszka J Klemm, Giacomo Moriconi and Martina Cingolani
Published: January 2017