Enhancing the Performance of Calcium Sulfoaluminate Blended Cements with Shrinkage Reducing Admixture or Lightweight Sand


This study investigates the effect of using shrinkage reducing admixture (SRA) or lightweight sand (LWS) on enhancing the performance of calcium sulfoaluminate (CSA) cement in combination with ordinary Portland cement (OPC). Of special interest is the efficacy of the SRA or LWS in modifying the expansion/shrinkage and compressive strength characteristics of OPC-CSA systems in the absence of adequate duration of water curing, which is critical for the expansive reaction of CSA cement and its ability to mitigate shrinkage. Hydration kinetics, autogenous and drying deformation, thermogravimetry, and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) are used to evaluate the effect of SRA or LWS on the performance of the OPC-CSA systems. Test results indicate that the OPC-CSA system can exhibit similar drying shrinkage to that of the plain OPC mixture when no moist curing is applied. In the presence of LWS or SRA, the OPC-CSA systems exhibited lower shrinkage or higher extent of expansion compared to the corresponding OPC-CSA mixture alone. This is attributed to delay of the drop in internal relative humidity and promoting hydration of the OPC-CSA system which can enhance the ettringite-generating potential of CSA cement. The use of LWS was found to be highly effective in enhancing compressive strength of OPC-CSA system. SEM results at 91 days confirm the higher density and lower porosity for the paste surrounding LWS particles compared to the corresponding mixture made without LWS. In the case of inadequate moist curing, the presence of LWS or SRA is shown to enhance the overall performance of OPC-CSA system. For a given overall desirability value of 0.65 determined by multi-objective optimization, the incorporation of 1% SRA or 10% LWS was found to enable the reduction the required period of moist curing from 6 days to 5 and 3 days, respectively.


Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering


The authors acknowledge the financial support provided by the U.S. Department of Transportation (grant number: TR2015-03) as well as the RE-CAST (Research on Concrete Applications for Sustainable Transportation) Tier-1 University Transportation Center(UTC) at Missouri University of Science and Technology (grant number: 00046726).

Keywords and Phrases

Calcium; Cements; Compressive strength; Drying; Expansion; Hydration; Mixtures; Multiobjective optimization; Portland cement; Scanning electron microscopy; Shrinkage; Thermogravimetric analysis; Cement hydration; Internal curing; Internal relative humidity; Ordinary Portland cement; Shrinkage reducing admixture (SRA); Shrinkage reducing admixtures; Strength characteristics; Sulfoaluminate; Curing; Calcium sulfoaluminate

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)


Document Type

Article - Journal

Document Version


File Type





© 2018 Elsevier, All rights reserved.