Chemistry of the interaction between an alkoxysilane-based impregnation treatment and cementitious phases
ISSN: 1873-3948 (internet)
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SourceCement and Concrete Research 142 (2021) 106351
Chemical compatibility with a wide range of materials is among the features that has driven the use of alkoxysilanes as consolidants in built structures. Such compatibility is particularly important in cementitious materials where the reaction with portlandite may generate C-S-H gel, one of the main hydration phases of OPC. The cementitious matrix is a complex system, however, and the reaction of its many phases with alkoxysilanes, while poorly understood, may determine treatment efficacy. This article describes a detailed study of the individual interactions between an oligomeric alkoxysilane-based impregnation treatment previously shown to interact with the portlandite present in cement paste and the cementitious phases generated in ordinary portland cement hydration. The findings show that both portlandite and C-S-H gel interact with the silicon oligomers in the hydrolysed impregnation treatment to generate a C-S-H gel (in the case of portlandite) and a rise in C-S-H gel mean chain length (MCL). Ettringite is also altered in the presence of alkoxysilanes, transforming to gypsum and AH(3). Its transformation generates a tetrahedral aluminium that is taken up into a high silicon gel sourced from the treatment to form an amorphous aluminosilicate gel. Monocarboaluminate and katoite also partially decompose in the interaction with the product, whereas gibbsite remains unaffected.