Calcium aluminate cement concrete: durablllty and conversión. A fresh look at an old subject
This paper re-examines the relationship between durability and conversion of calcium aluminate cement concretes, CACC. Conversion is a natural and inevitable process whereby these materials reach a stable mature condition. Numerous structures built more than half a century ago remain serviceable and in service today. Some of these are illustrated. They are the best testament to the durability of converted concrete having survived far longer in the converted than the unconverted condition. The unique rapid hardening characteristics of CACC offer a valuable selfheating capability. Conversión is immediate and this leads to better long term strengths because more cement is hydrated. Moreover, recent work has shown that the thermodynamically stable hydrates of converted CAC are intrinsically more resistant to attack from such aggressive agents as sulphuric acid. This provides an explanation of the excellent long term performance of Fondu concretes, for example in many saewer applications. Our knowledge and understanding today of the durability of calcium alumínate bonded materials has been built on close to 100 years of accumulated experience and laboratory studies. We know how to use these materials and we know what to expect from them. We can be confident that they will serve us well in the century ahead.
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