Effect of Welan Gum and Nanoclay on Thixotropy of UHPC


This study evaluates the effect of welan gum (WG) and nanoclay (NC) on thixotropy of ultra-high-performance concrete (UHPC) matrix made with 0.20 water-to-binder ratio. The mortar mixtures were proportioned with a fixed superplasticizer (SP) content and WG and NC contents varying between 0 and 0.09% and 0 and 0.4%, respectively. The dynamic yield stress of these mixtures varied from 40 to 170 Pa. Similarly, UHPC made with different WG and NC contents were prepared with variable SP dosages to maintain initial mini-slump flow of 200 ± 5 mm. Test results indicate that thixotropy can be enhanced by using WG or NC in UHPC with a fixed SP dosage. On the other hand, for UHPC made with variable SP, the incorporation of WG increased thixotropy, whereas the use of NC had limited contribution to thixotropy. Particle flocculation was correlated to the water film thickness (WFT) onto solid particles in UHPC. The rapid increase in static yield stress immediately after mixing (τfloc) showed a linear growth with the decrease of WFT due to enhancement of particle flocculation. A qualitative approach relating particle flocculation and bridging effect of nucleation of early-age hydration products was proposed to describe the rate of linear increase in static yield stress with rest time (Athix). The model yielded good prediction for UHPC prepared with NC, which was not the case for mixtures made with WG where other factors, such as polymer entanglement and association, can play a major role in controlling thixotropy.


Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering

Keywords and Phrases

Nanoclay; Rheology; Thixotropy; Ultra-high-performance concrete; Welan gum

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Article - Journal

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Publication Date

01 Dec 2020