This paper aims to assess the effects of chemically accelerated leaching on the physical and mechanical properties of aerial lime–cement mortars (LCMs).
Two aerial LCMs, differencing mainly in their calcium hydroxide content, were degraded by the use of an ammonium nitrate solution as a leaching agent. The leaching effects were studied by evaluating the rate of change in physical (sorptivity and mass loss) and mechanical (flexural and compressive strength) characteristics of aerial LCMs. To quantify the evolution and kinetics of degradation, the leached depth was then characterized at different levels of degradation by means of a phenolphthalein solution.
The experimental results showed that the dissolution of binder decreases the mass, alkalinity and strength of aerial LCMs but increases their sorptivity. A linear relationship was derived by plotting the values of leached depth against the square root of immersion time in an aggressive solution. It was found that the leached depth followed diffusion-controlled kinetics.
It was found that the global loss of compressive strength of aerial LCMs because of complete dissolution of calcium hydroxide can reach up to 80 per cent.
Bellifa, S. and Boumechra, N. (2019), "Effects of calcium leaching on the physical and mechanical properties of aerial lime-cement mortars", Journal of Engineering, Design and Technology, Vol. 17 No. 3, pp. 649-666. https://doi.org/10.1108/JEDT-11-2018-0199Download as .RIS
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