Deterioration and durability of concrete structures mainly depend on permeability of concrete. Silica fume (SF) as a mineral admixture for high performance concrete produces more discontinues and impermeable pore structure in concrete. The higher permeability reductions with silica fume are due to pore size refinement and matrix densification, reduction in content of Ca(OH)2and cement paste-aggregate interfacial refinement. During the hydration process the transition interfacial zone is gradually densified due to pozzolanic reaction between silica fume and calcium hydroxide. Based on a microstructure model, a procedure for predicting the permeability of high strength silica fume cement concrete is developed by considering water-to-binder ratio, silica fume replacement ratio and degree of hydration as major influencing factors. Results of the permeability calculated using the procedure is verified with the available literature. Subsequently, effects of silica fume on the permeability of concrete are evaluated. Finally, optimum silica fume replacement ratios that reduce the permeability of concrete reasonably are proposed for durable concrete. Crown Copyright © 2009.
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