Minimization of the Influence of Shear-Induced Particle Migration in Determining the Rheological Characteristics of Self-Compacting Mortars and Concretes

Materials (Basel). 2020 Mar 27;13(7):1542. doi: 10.3390/ma13071542.


Determining the exact rheological properties of cementitious materials in fundamental units is a crucial step in concrete science. It is undisputed that before measuring rheological properties in concrete rheometers, it is necessary to pre-shear the fresh mortar or concrete. Due to the migration of the coarse particles into areas with lower shear stress, however, segregation takes place. An experimental set-up was developed to determine the effects on the measured values of the concrete rheometer ICAR. This allows the active homogenization (pre-shearing) of the material before each change of speed. In the tests higher raw values (macroscopic data) could be measured. This clearly influences the calculated rheological Bingham parameters and modified Bingham parameters for a self-compacting concrete (SCC) with a maximum grain size of 16 mm. Therefore, the homogeneity of the material, a main hypothesis of rheological measurements, does not seem to be fulfilled with the coaxial rheometer used. The process of the indispensable pre-shearing therefore requires more attention in the future so that measurement errors can be minimized. Especially in numerical simulation, suitable rheological models and the realistic determination of parameters are crucial. Since the shear-induced particle migration is largely dependent on the maximum grain size, an ultra-high performance concrete (UHPC) with a maximum particle size of only 0.5 mm was also investigated in the laboratory mixer KNIELE KKM-RT. The integrated rheometer enables also the active homogenization of the fresh concrete during pre-shearing but without the danger of over-mixing, as it is the case for the experimental ICAR setup. This article proves that relevant differences can also be identified for such a material.

Keywords: KNIELE KKM-RT; Reiner-Riwlin; active pre-shear; modified Bingham; rheology; rheometer; shear-induced particle migration.