Influence of kaolinite clay on the chloride diffusion property of cement-based materials

Yingfang Fan*, Shiyi Zhang, Shiho Kawashima, Surendra P. Shah

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

66 Scopus citations


To constitute blended cement concrete with high chloride diffusion resistivity, the effects of kaolinite clay on the mechanical properties and chloride diffusivity of cement paste, mortar and concrete were investigated. Ordinary Portland cement was partially replaced by kaolinite clay at 0%, 1%, 3%, 5%, 7% and 9% by weight of cement. All blended cement-based samples were prepared using a w/c ratio of 0.5. The microstructure, workability, early-age and long-term flexural strength of pastes were tested. The chloride diffusivity of mortars was measured. And the compressive strength and chloride diffusivity of concrete were measured. Mercury Intrusion Porosimetry (MIP) was employed to evaluate porosity characteristics. Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) and Energy Dispersive Spectra (EDS) were applied to investigate the micro morphology and chemical element distribution inside the cement matrix, and the rapid chloride migration (RCM) method was applied to test chloride diffusivity. The MIP test results show that the addition of clay improves the micro-pore structure in the cement paste and limits the introduction of chloride ions. SEM imaging suggests that the kaolinite clay is acting as both filler and accelerator of cement hydration. It is found that the addition of clay alters the water requirement of normal consistency and the setting time of cement, whereas it has little influence on the soundness. Compared to the control, the flexural strength of cement paste with 1% kaolinite clay increased by 30.41%, 39.04%, 36.27% and 38.32% at 1, 3, 7 and 90 days, respectively. The 28-day flexural strength only increased slightly. It is observed that the cement mortar with clay has lower chloride diffusion coefficient values compared to the plain mortar, the 28-day diffusion coefficient of chloride ion (DCl-) of cement mortar is decreased by 53.03% with 5% clay. The increase in compressive strength of the cement concrete with clay is 12%, 13.5%, and 28.4% compared to the control at 1%, 3% and 5% addition, respectively. The chloride diffusion coefficient of cement concrete decreases exponentially with the clay addition. The reduction of chloride diffusion coefficient of cement concrete is 8.68% and 18.87% at 1% and 5% clay, respectively. The 28-day compressive strength increases linearly with the chloride diffusion coefficient of the concrete.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)117-124
Number of pages8
JournalCement and Concrete Composites
StatePublished - 2014


  • Cement-based material
  • Chloride
  • Kaolinite clay
  • Permeability
  • RCM
  • SEM
  • Strength
  • Workability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Building and Construction
  • General Materials Science


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