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Title: Durability assessment and microstructural analysis of 3D Printed concrete exposed to sulfuric acid environments
Authors: Aouad, Georges
Affiliations: Faculty of Engineering 
Co-authors: Baz Bilal
Kleib Joelle
Bulteel David
Remond Sebastien
Keywords: 3D printing
Microstructural analysis
Sulfuric acid
Issue Date: 2021
Publisher: ELSEVIER
Project : UOB research Grant RGA/FOE/19-20/012
Part of: Construction and Building Materials
Additive manufacturing techniques are being more adopted in the construction field,
and they are rapidly developing. However, it is expected that layers superposition
imposes several limitations on the performance of 3D printed structures. In this regard,
an efficient concrete structure should not only present reliable mechanical
performances, but also appropriate durability performance against weathering. This
paper presents an experimental study aiming to compare 3D printed elements to
casted ones on a macro and micro scale, as well as their resistance against sulfuric
acid attacks. Herein, three different mortar mixes having different thixotropic properties
were used, and two solution concentrations were employed, one containing 1% sulfuric
acid and the other containing 3%. At first, a visual observation of the degraded
samples and their mass loss were held. Then, a microstructural characterization was
performed through mercury intrusion porosemetry (MIP) and scanning electron
microscopy (SEM) analyses. Still, not any printed element has cracked at the interlayer level. Moreover, on a microscopic level, the MIP results showed that all samples
of different compositions have an equal total porosity. However, the pore size
distribution and their morphology largely differs between printed and non-printed
specimens. The pore sizes are more spread in printed specimens. As for the SEM
results, it can be clearly seen that no interface have revealed the formation of a weak
plane that might even threaten the durability of the printed elements. Yet, a strong link
between superposed layers has been developed, even when using materials having
different rheological properties; and the overall specimen acted as a monolithic body
without showing any signs of discontinuity or superposition effects.
Type: Journal Article
Appears in Collections:Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering

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