Materiales de Construcción, Vol 68, No 329 (2018)

Combined effect of nano-SiO2 and nano-Fe2O3 on compressive strength, flexural strength, porosity and electrical resistivity in cement mortars

M. A. Sanjuán
Departamento de Ingeniería Civil: Construcción, E.T.S de Ingenieros de Caminos, Canales y Puertos, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, Spain

C. Argiz
Departamento de Ingeniería Civil: Construcción, E.T.S de Ingenieros de Caminos, Canales y Puertos, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, Spain

J. C. Gálvez
Departamento de Ingeniería Civil: Construcción, E.T.S de Ingenieros de Caminos, Canales y Puertos, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, Spain

E. Reyes
Departamento de Ingeniería Civil: Construcción, E.T.S de Ingenieros de Caminos, Canales y Puertos, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, Spain


The compressive strength, flexural strength, porosity and electrical resistivity properties of cement mortars with nano-Fe2O3 and nano-SiO2 are studied. Amorphous silica is the main component of pozzolanic materials due to its reaction with calcium hydroxide formed from calcium silicate (C3S and C2S) hydration. The pozzolanic reaction rate is not only proportional to the amount of amorphous silica but also to the surface area available for reaction. Subsequently, fine nano-Fe2O3 and nano-SiO2 particles in mortars are expected to improve mortar performance. The experimental results showed that the compressive strength of mortars with nano-Fe2O3 and nano-SiO2 particles were lower than those obtained with the reference mortar at seven and 28 days. It was shown that the nano-particles were not able to enhance mechanical strength on every occasion. The continuous microstructural progress monitored by mercury intrusion porosimetry (MIP) measurements, pore-size distribution (PSD), total porosity and critical pore diameter also confirmed such results.


Active addition; Mortar; Compressive strength; Mechanical properties; Hydration

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