Quantitative microstructural investigation of 3D-printed and cast cement pastes using micro-computed tomography and image analysis

Reza Moini, Ahmadreza Baghaie, Fabian B. Rodriguez, Pablo D. Zavattieri, Jeffrey P. Youngblood, Jan Olek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations

Abstract

Microstructural phases and mechanical properties of lamellar 3D-printed and cast hardened cement paste (hcp) elements were investigated using a lab-based X-ray microscope at two levels of magnification (0.4× and 4×). K-means clustering was used for quantitative image analysis. The entire volume of intact 3-days-old 3D-printed and cast hcp elements was characterized at 0.4× magnification. Three microstructural features (macro-pores, micro-channels, and interfacial micro-pores) were found to reside in three distinct pore size domains. The largest pores of the 3D-printed element were larger than the largest pores of the reference cast hcp element. Moreover, the smallest pore sizes of the 3D-printed element were found to be smaller than those present in the cast counterparts. Micro-channels were found to be connected to one another through the micro-pores present at interfacial regions, indicating the presence of a uniquely patterned and interconnected pore network. The role of locally weak and porous interfaces on mechanical response and fracture properties is discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number106493
JournalCement and Concrete Research
Volume147
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2021
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Building and Construction
  • General Materials Science

Keywords

  • 3D-printing
  • Hardened cement paste (hcp)
  • Image analysis
  • Interfaces
  • Interfacial micro-pores
  • Macro-pores
  • Micro-CT
  • Micro-channels

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