Experimental Techniques to Study the Microstructure of Cement-Based Materials

by David Darwin, Univ of Kansas, Lawrence, United States,
Kirk W. Ketcham, Univ of Kansas, Lawrence, United States,
Francisco A. Romero, Univ of Kansas, Lawrence, United States,
Shanglong Gong, Univ of Kansas, Lawrence, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Mechanics Computing in 1990's and Beyond


Techniques to identify phases and changes in microstructure within cement paste, mortar, and concrete using a scanning electron microscope and image analysis system are described. Backscattered electron imaging is used to identify phases within epoxy-impregnated specimens. Calibration procedures allow the individual phases to be identified based on backscattered electron intensity. Microcracks can be imaged to a higher resolution than can be normally obtained with backscattered electron images. The techniques allow a comparison of individual phases as they contribute to cracking and softening of the materials. Crack density increases significantly with applied compressive strain.

Subject Headings: Microstructure | Cement | System analysis | Composite materials | Epoxy | Calibration | Imaging techniques | Cracking

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