High performance polymer concrete
Keywords:polymer concrete, thermosetting resin, mechanical properties, microstructure, SEM
This paper studies the performance of concrete whose chief components are natural aggregate and an organic binder —a thermosetting polyester resin— denominated polymer concrete or PC. The material was examined macro- and microscopically and its basic physical and mechanical properties were determined using mercury porosimetry, scanning electron microscopy (SEM-EDAX), X-ray diffraction (XRD) and strength tests (modulus of elasticity, stress-strain curves and ultimate strengths). According to the results of these experimental studies, the PC exhibited a low density (4.8%), closed pore system and a concomitantly continuous internal microstructure. This would at least partially explain its mechanical out-performance of traditional concrete, with average compressive and flexural strength values of 100 MPa and over 20 MPa, respectively. In the absence of standard criteria, the bending test was found to be a useful supplement to compressive strength tests for establishing PC strength classes.
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