Award Date

May 2017

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Engineering (MSE)


Civil and Environmental Engineering and Construction

First Committee Member

Nader Ghafoori

Second Committee Member

Samman Ladkany

Third Committee Member

Alexander Paz-Cruz

Fourth Committee Member

Mohamed Trabia

Number of Pages



The aim of this research was to identify High Early-Age Strength (HES) concrete batch designs, and evaluate their suitability for use in the rapid repair of highways and bridge decks. To this end, two criteria needed to be met; a minimum compressive strength of 20.68 MPa (3000 psi) in no later than 12 hours, and a drying shrinkage of less than 0.06 % at 28 days after curing. The evaluations included both air-entrained, and non-air-entrained concretes.

The cement types chosen for this study included Type III and Type V Portland cement and “Rapid Set” − a Calcium Sulfoaluminate (CSA) cement. In addition, two blended concretes containing different ratios of Type V Portland cement and CSA cement were investigated. The evaluation of the studied concretes included mechanical properties (compressive and flexural strength) and transport properties (absorption, rapid chloride penetration– RCPT, rapid chloride migration– RMT, and water permeability). Additionally, dimensional stability (drying shrinkage) and durability (corrosion of steel, frost resistance, and abrasion resistance) were investigated. Evaluations were conducted based on cement type and common cement factor.

Fresh property tests showed that in order to provide a comparable workability, and still remain within manufactures guideline for plasticizer, the water-to-cement ratio was adjusted for each type of cement utilized. This resulted in the need to increase the water-to-cement ratio as the Blaine Fineness of the cement type increased (0.275 for Type V Portland cement, 0.35 for Type III Portland cement, and 0.4 for Rapid Set cement). It was also observed that negligible changes in setting time occurred with increasing cement content, whereas changes in cement type produced notable differences. The addition of air-entrainment had beneficial effect on workability for the lower cement factors. Increasing trends for peak hydration heat were seen with increases in cement factor, cement Blaine Fineness, and accelerator dosage.

Evaluation of hardened properties revealed opening times as low as 5 hours for Type V Portland cement with 2.0 % accelerator per cement weight and further reduction in opening time by an hour when accelerator dosage was increased to 2.8 % by cement weight. When Type III Portland cement and Rapid Set cement were used, the opening time reduced to as low as 4.5 hours and 1 hour, respectively.

The results for Type V Portland cement concretes showed that as cement factor increased so did mechanical properties until the cement factor exceeded 504 kg/m3 (850 lb/yd3), at which point the peak heat of hydration exceeded 46.1 °C (115 °F) and the mechanical properties decreased. Other evaluations on the studied High Early-Age Strength Type V Portland cement concretes revealed increases in absorption, rapid chloride penetration, water permeability, drying shrinkage, corrosion resistance, and resistance to wear with increases in cement content. On the other hand, rapid chloride migration and frost resistance decreased with increasing cement factor. Increasing the accelerator dosage resulted in an increase in all properties of the HES Type V cement concretes except for frost resistance, which decreased. The addition of air-entrainment had adverse effects on compressive strength, absorption, and rapid chloride migration; while showing lower values for rapid chloride penetration. Curing had positive effects on all hardened properties of the studied HES concretes containing Type V cement.

When examining the studied Type III Portland cement concretes, it was seen that an increase in cement content led to decreases in mechanical properties. It is noted that the peak heat of hydration for these concrete exceeded the threshold of 46.1 °C (115 °F). In addition, increases in cement factor also resulted in decreases in rapid chloride migration, frost resistance and resistance to wear. Increases in cement content resulted in increases in absorption, rapid chloride penetration, water permeability, drying shrinkage, and corrosion resistance. The use of air-entrainment imparted decreases in compressive strength and rapid chloride penetration, increases in absorption, and negligible effects on rapid chloride migration. Extending curing period resulted in beneficial effects on all properties of the studied Type III cement concretes.

The studied CSA cement concretes had slightly decreasing strength trends as cement content was increased. Concretes containing CSA cement produced the lowest opening time (one hour) and the highest peak hydration heats of all concretes studied. While its corrosion and frost resistance reduced as cement content increased, the absorption and rapid chloride penetration increased with increasing cement content. For drying shrinkage, opening time curing showed more volume change with increasing cement content, whereas extending curing to 24 hours and 28 days resulted in reduction of drying shrinkage. Increasing cement factor had minimal effects on water permeability and abrasion resistance. Air-entrainments reduced compressive strength, but increased absorption and rapid chloride penetration. Rapid chloride migration was found to be incompatible with CSA cements concretes. All hardened properties of the studied CSA cement concretes improved once curing age was extended to 24 hours and 28 days.

When considering the results of the HES blended cement concretes, as Type V cement content increased, 28-day compressive strength, flexural strength, drying shrinkage (opening time and 24-hour), corrosion resistance, and resistance to wear increased. Conversely, 24-hour compressive strength, absorption, rapid chloride penetration, 28-day rapid chloride migration, water penetration, 28-day drying shrinkage, and frost resistance reduced with an increase in Type V Portland cement of the High Early-Age Strength blended cement concretes. Reductions in compressive strength and absorption occurred for both studied blended cement concretes when air-entraining admixtures were used. Longer curing provided favorable results for properties of all studied blended cement concretes.


Cement; Durability; Fresh; Infrastructure; Rehabilitation; Transport


Civil Engineering | Engineering | Engineering Science and Materials | Materials Science and Engineering