When concrete is used for construction in cold-temperature regions, cold-resistant accelerators based on calcium nitrite (Ca(NO2)2) and calcium nitrate (Ca(NO3)2) are added to prevent early freezing damage. Although cold-resistant accelerators increase the early compressive strength and prevent early freezing damage by promoting cement hydration, the strength enhancement effect owing to the formation of such hydrates has not been evaluated quantitatively thus far. This study covers various types of analysis to understand the relationship between cement hydrate formation behavior and strength development upon the addition of varying amounts of nitrite-based accelerator. We find that the early compressive strength is enhanced by the addition of nitrite-based accelerator via the promotion of the relative production of monosulfate and C-S-H in the early age. However, the development of compressive strength decreases with an increase in the curing age. Furthermore, we find that the promotion of hydration reactions at an early age with the addition of nitrite-based accelerator can affect the formation ratio of each hydrate at a late age. We believe our findings can significantly contribute to developments in concrete application and allied fields.
Keywords: calcium nitrite; concrete strength; early compressive strength; frost-resistant accelerator; hydrate formation; nitrite based accelerator.