A study on the effect of nano silica on compressive strength of high volume fly ash mortar and concrete
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This paper presents the effect of nano silica (NS) on the compressive strength of mortars and concretes containing different high volume fly ash (HVFA) contents ranging from 40% to 70% (by weight) as partial replacement of cement. The compressive strength of mortars is measured at 7 and 28 days and that for concretes is measured at 3, 7, 28, 56 and 90 days. The effects of NS in microstructure development and pozzolanic reaction of pastes containing above HVFA contents are also studied through backscattered electron (BSE) image and X-ray diffraction (XRD) analysis. Results show that among different NS contents ranging from 1% to 6%, cement mortar containing 2% NS exhibited highest 7 and 28 days compressive strength. This NS content (2%) is then added to the HVFA mortars and concretes and the results show that the addition of 2% NS improved the early age (7 days) compressive strength of mortars containing 40% and 50% fly ash by 5% and 7%, respectively. However, this improvement is not observed at high fly ash contents beyond 50%. On the other hand, all HVFA mortars exhibited improvement in 28 days compressive strength due to addition of 2% NS and the most significant improvement is noticed in mortars containing more than 50% fly ash. In HVFA concretes, the improvement of early age (3 days) compressive strength is also noticed due to addition of 2% NS. The BSE and XRD analysis results also support the above findings.
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