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Construction and Building Materials 257 (2020) 119585

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Construction and Building Materials


journal homepage: www.elsevier.com/locate/conbuildmat

Interaction of a viscous biopolymer from cactus extract with cement


paste to produce sustainable concrete
Durgadevagi Shanmugavel a, Thirumalini Selvaraj b, Ravi Ramadoss a,⇑, Simona Raneri c
a
Department of Civil Engineering, SRM Institute of Science & Technology, Kattakulathur, Kancheepuram District, Tamil Nadu, India
b
Department of Structural and Geotechnical Engineering, School of Civil and Chemical Engineering, VIT University, Vellore, India
c
National Research Council, ICCOM-CNR, Via G. Moruzzi, 1, 56124 Pisa, Italy

h i g h l i g h t s

 Sustainable concretes using natural biopolymers from cactus extract were studied.
 Standard tests, XRD and FTIR analysis allowed to better understand the interaction between concrete and biopolymer.
 Polysaccharides and proteins from the biopolymer are responsible for enhancing the fresh and hardened properties of modified concretes.
 The use of natural biopolymers from cactus extract is advisable to produce green and ecofriendly concretes.

a r t i c l e i n f o a b s t r a c t

Article history: The development of sustainable building materials is essential in view of meting worldwide require-
Received 8 January 2020 ments of the green and sustainable economy; this aspect is crucial in cement concrete, in which commer-
Received in revised form 17 April 2020 cial demand is increasing day by day. Superior quality concretes can be produced by using natural
Accepted 14 May 2020
additives, such as biopolymers, being them harmfully respect to the environment. In this investigation,
bio-additives prepared from cactus extract with varying concentrations was mixed into cement concrete
mixtures for the manufacturing of sustainable concretes. The modified concretes were evaluated for their
Keywords:
fresh and hardened state properties. The interaction of cactus extract with cement particles during hydra-
Bio-additive
Green concretes
tion reactions was also examined by Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FT-IR); the microstructural
Cactus extract properties of the modified cement concrete was also studied through X-ray Diffraction (XRD) and Thermo
Durability Gravimetric Analysis (TGA). As a result, FT-IR evidenced that the additives containing polysaccharides
XRD enhanced the water retention of the concrete, preventing the early drying of the concrete mix and
TGA thereby reducing shrinkage cracks. Cactus extract enhances the viscosity property of the concrete mix
FTIR and thereby improves the workability of the concrete mix. The results of the investigation also evidenced
that modified concretes exhibit enhanced mechanical properties and durability characteristics. In partic-
ular, polysaccharides influence the strength characteristics of the additive modified concrete while pro-
teins and fats have an impact on the workability and durability of modified concrete. Hence, the tested
bio-additive could be considered as an eco-friendly, cheaper natural additive that could develop sustain-
able cement composites with upgraded workability, mechanical and durability characteristics.
Ó 2020 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

1. Introduction consuming and environmentally taxing process [3]. In fact, it is


well-known that the cement producing industries release about
Cement is the major binding material used today; it is mainly 4% of the global carbon dioxide into the atmosphere [4]. As the
used to produce concretes with high mechanical strength. How- demand for concrete production is increasing day by day, it is very
ever, the durability of concrete is greatly affected by environmental important to develop more sustainable concrete manufacture by
conditions [1,2] and also the production of cement is a high energy reducing the amount of cement in the concrete mixture [5]. Sus-
tainability in concrete manufacture can be accomplished by
improving present practices, developing new concrete mixes, inno-
⇑ Corresponding author. vating product design and improving the performance of concrete-
E-mail addresses: thirumalini.selvaraj@vit.ac.in (T. Selvaraj), ravistrucl@yahoo. based products during its service life [6].
co.in (R. Ramadoss), simona.raneri@pi.iccom.cnr.it (S. Raneri).

https://doi.org/10.1016/j.conbuildmat.2020.119585
0950-0618/Ó 2020 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
2 D. Shanmugavel et al. / Construction and Building Materials 257 (2020) 119585

As an example, polymeric organic additives are being extensively Among the cited natural polymers, cactus extract seems to repre-
used in concrete to modify their properties [7–12], especially to sent interesting challenges, for its ability in both improving mechan-
enhance mechanical and durability characteristics. Generally, addi- ical strength and durability of modified binders. However, to better
tives are due to synthetic polymers, which use increase the emission understand the potential of its use in current applications, enlarging
of toxic species into the environment [13]. Moreover, such chemical its use from lime-based mortars in historical buildings to commer-
additives are usually expensive. Therefore, to overcome such draw- cially available products, it is necessary to better understand the
backs in chemical additives, the adoption of sustainable materials interaction between the viscous biopolymer from cactus extract
technologies in concretes is in the light of the current research and the cement paste. Therefore, in this study natural polymer from
[14–17]; particularly, low-cost natural additives and plant extracts Cactus (Opuntia Ficus Indica) rich in insoluble fibers and water-
have been demonstrated to be valuable alternatives in manufactur- soluble mucilage is used as a natural polymer additive in cement
ing green and low-cost cement binders, improving their mechanical concrete. Aspects as the effect of the cactus extract on fresh and
properties and cut down production costs [18–41]. hardened state properties of cement composites and their micro-
For example, potato starch demonstrated to improve the structural behaviour were explored and the changes in mechanical
mechanical resistance of lime mortars when used as a biodegradable properties and durability of cement concrete were evaluated.
natural polymer [18]. Karandikar et al. [19] reported the increased
compressive strength of cement mortar cubes (up to 10%) after 2. Materials
56 days of curing when natural bio-polymeric okra extract is mixed
into cement mortar. The extract obtained by boiling barks of Blue- The cement used in this study is OPC 53 grade as per IS 12,269 –
gum tree in water was used as a shrinkage reducing admixture in 1987 [42], river sand of particle size 2.36 mm down was used as
cement [20]. Govin et al. [21] demonstrated that guar gum, rich in fine aggregate, while 12.5 mm down gravel was used as coarse
polysaccharides, increased the water retention capacity of cement aggregate and the physical properties of the material are displayed
mortars and delayed the hydration process of cement due to adsorp- in Table 1. Opuntia ficus Indica extract (Cactace family) was used as
tion of the molecules of admixture on surfaces of the hydrating a natural organic additive. The cactus leaves were collected at the
cement particles. Another natural organic admixture, namely palm Tamil Nadu forest research center, Maraimalai Nagar, Kanchipu-
liquor, illustrated improved workability in cement concretes, with ram district nearby Chennai. The leaves of cactus were cut into
retardation in setting time; the modified mixture resulted in a com- small pieces and added into freshwater; the leaves were then
pact mass with improved mechanical resistance without adverse squeezed by hand until the gel was completely extracted and then
effect on the durability of concrete [22]. Black gram was used as a filtered, obtaining in this way a natural bio-polymer, up to now
natural polymer in India by Chandra et al. [23]; it was used as a named CEX (cactus extract). The extract was therefore mixed into
cheaper plasticizer in cement concrete by Dwivedi et al. [24]. Studies water in varying concentrations of 2%, 4%, 6%, 8% and 10% by
have demonstrated that it works as an air-entraining defoaming weight of water and was used for mixing the concrete.
agent and improves concrete properties such as adhesiveness and
hydrophobicity. Eucheumacottonii (gel) and GracilariaSp from sea-
3. Experimental study
weeds were used as natural polymer by Retno Susilorini et al. [25];
experimental tests demonstrated that it improves the compressive
3.1. Material properties
strength and split tensile strength of cement mortars. The strength
and durability properties of cement concrete with starch admixture
The dried cactus gel was analysed to find out the quantity of
were tested by Akindahunsi et al. [26]; experimental tests evidenced
proteins, fats and polysaccharides. Crude fat test conforming to
mechanical properties of cement concrete is enhanced by the addi-
IS: 7874-1975 [43] was conducted to determine the presence of
tion of these natural additives. Durability and mechanical properties
fat and Kjeldahl digestion test [44] was conducted to determine
of high-performance cement mortar containing supplementary
the amount of protein present in the additive. From the percentage
cementations materials were tested by Elahi et al. [27]; in these
mass of fat and protein, the polysaccharide content was calculated,
admixtures, an enormous improvement in durability and mechani-
and the results are reported in Table 2. Cactus contains around 5%
cal properties were observed.
polysaccharides and 1.82% proteins along with 0.12% fats.
Among natural polymers, particularly interesting is the use of
Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FT-IR) was carried out
Opuntia Ficus Indica extract, largely used since antiquity in different
to identify the main functional organic groups of additive used and
worldwide areas. Chandra et al. [28] demonstrated that the use of
for identification of changes in hydrated phases of concrete due to
such natural polymer assures a significant improvement (about 5–
the interaction of cactus gel.
7 times) of durability in mortar lime-based mortars. Moreover, its
The standard consistency of cement was determined according
ability to produce binders characterised by high hydrophobicity
to IS: 4031-1988 [45], while the initial and final setting time of
has been demonstrated by experiments carried out on mortars
cement was calculated by following the IS: 4031-1988 standard
mock-ups replicating the Mexican historical structures [29]. A fer-
mented extract of cactus was used as a bio-admixture in hydraulic
lime mortar by Ravi et al. [30] and reported positive results in Table 1
terms of mechanical properties due to the adhesive nature of Physical Properties of Materials.
admixture. In fact, the water repellent nature of the admixture Materials Specific Gravity Fineness modulus (%)
due to the presence of proteins improved the durability of the mor-
Cement 3.13 4
tars, reducing water absorption, declining capillary rise and resis- Fine Aggregate 2.71 3.53
tance to salt crystallization cycles. The use of a cactus extract act Coarse Aggregate 2.73 2.97
as a calcium-isolating agent in alkali conditions could provide
gelating performance. Moreover, this mucilage exhibits a great
inclination to agglomerate salt solutions [31]. Cactus mucilage Table 2
when mixed with a salt solution, forms a high-viscous solution Organic analysis of admixture.
even at a lower concentration of 5% that has a mechanical spectra
Admixture Water (%) Polysaccharide (%) Protein (%) Fats (%)
trait of a complicated network of disordered polymer coils [32],
Cactus 92.43 4.9 1.82 0.12
improving the durability of buildings.
D. Shanmugavel et al. / Construction and Building Materials 257 (2020) 119585 3

test [46]. The tests were performed on samples mixed with varying that consistency decrease with the increasing of CEX%, while the
dosages of CEX solution (2%, 4%, 6%, 8% and 10% in water) and on a setting time (initial and final) increases with increasing cactus
reference sample mixed with 100% of water. The water retentivity extract amount. In respect to water retentivity (Table 3), the
test was carried out on the cement mortar according to ASTM obtained results indicated that it increases with the CEX dosage.
C1506 - 2016 [47]. It is interesting to note that in the water retentivity test, the
absorption of water by filter paper is through capillary rise. Accord-
3.2. Tests on concrete ing to Jurin’s law, the capillary rise relies upon the density and thus
the viscosity of the liquid phase; in particular, the capillary motion
M20 grade concrete (characteristic compressive strength of of a liquid is slowed down with increasing viscosity [55].
20 MPa) with a mix proportion of 1:1.5:3 by following IS 456 – It is possible to interpret changes in cement properties as an
2000 [48] was adopted in this investigation. effect of the bio-polymer additive. The natural polymers have an
Six concrete mixes were cast with various dosages of CEX solu- inherent character of surface absorbency of organic molecules
tion (namely, 2%, 4%, 6%, 8% and 10% along with reference mix and subsequent development of protective polymeric film on the
obtained with 100% of water). Twenty-one concrete cubes for each cement particles and hydration products [56]. The further hydra-
mixture (CEX 2%, 4%, 6%, 8% and 10%) along with reference concrete tion of cement particles in polymer suspensions are restricted by
mix were cast (totally 126 cubes). hydrophilic layers [9,57,58]. On the other hand, the chemical com-
The slump cone test was performed according to IS:1199-1959 position of polysaccharides-based additives works actively in a
[49] to determine the workability of the concrete. Compression highly alkaline environment and has greater control over the
test were carried out according to IS:516 – 1959 [50] on concrete hydration of cement paste [59–62]. Looking at the FT-IR spectra
cubes 100  100  100mm in dimension; the test was performed collected on CEX solution (Fig. 1a), the typical bonding of both
at the loading rate of 140 kg/sq cm/min. Samples cured at 7, 14, 28, hydrophobic and hydrophilic segments of the biopolymer can be
56 and 90 days were analysed. The flexure test was carried out on observed. In detail, bands at about 3400 cm 1 are related to OH
samples 100  100mm in section and 500 mm in length after 28, stretching modes; moreover, band at 1080 cm 1 are related to pro-
56 and 90 days of curing. Flexure strength was measured using teins in cactus extract and, finally, C–H stretching modes at
two-point loading at the loading rate of 180 kg/min following IS 2923.72 cm 1 are related to polysaccharides. Thus, a protein,
516 – 1959 [50]. Young’s modulus was determined by following which acts as a viscosity-enhancing agent, could be responsible
IS 516 – 1959 [50]; 90 days cured samples consisting of cylindrical for the viscosity increase in CEX modified cement; polysaccharides
concrete specimens of 100 mm in diameter and 200 mm in height are good moisturizer that helps to retain the moisture content in
were analysed. Splitting tensile strength of concrete was per- cement. Moreover, both hydrophobic and hydrophilic segments
formed in accordance with IS 5816: 1999 [51]; cylinder specimen are present in the proteins of CEX, so that water molecules could
of 100 mm diameter and 200 mm in height were cast for testing be attached to these hydrophilic parts by hydrogen bonds; this
and the test was carried out on 90 days cured samples. Non- could block the evaporation of water and keep the cement paste
destructive testing of concrete using the Ultrasonic Pulse Velocity moisturized. The FT-IR spectrum collected on biopolymer modified
(UPV) technique was performed in accordance with IS 13311- cement exhibit an OH stretching band at 3400 cm 1 (Fig. 1b),
1992 [52] to examine the quality of concrete and to determine which can be related to moisture retained due to the bio-
the dynamic modulus of concrete. Rapid Chloride Penetration Test
(RCPT) was performed according to ASTM 1202-1997 [53] on the
concrete specimen (90 days cured) 100 mm in diameter and
50 mm in height. Acid resistance test was carried out on concrete
according to the guidelines specified in ASTM C267 - 2001 [54].
Concrete cubes, 100 mm side with various dosages of CEX (2%,
4%, 6%, 8%, and 10%) were cast and cured in the water containing
5% of sulfuric acid, for 28 days. Cured specimens were tested for
compression to determine the change in mechanical resistance.
Sulphate resistance test was performed like the acid resistance
with concrete cubes cured in the water containing 5% Na2SO4 solu-
tion for 28 days and changes in the compression strength were
determined.

4. Results and discussion

4.1. Material properties

Consistency and setting time for biopolymer modified cement


Fig. 1. FTIR spectrum collected on (a) CEX (b) CEX modified cement concrete.
and reference mixture are presented in Table 3. The results show

Table 3
Fresh state properties of cement.

Sample Consistency (%) Initial Setting Time (Minutes) Final Setting Time (Minutes) Water retentivity (%)
Reference 29 35 580 96.70
CEX 2% 28.5 44 610 97.95
CEX 4% 28 47 630 98.11
CEX 6% 27.5 49 640 98.32
CEX 8% 27 52 650 98.57
CEX 10% 26.5 55 660 98.82
4 D. Shanmugavel et al. / Construction and Building Materials 257 (2020) 119585

Table 4
Properties of concrete (reference and CEX modified), Slump values are reported for fresh state; split tensile strength, Young’s modulus and Dynamic Modulus are reported for
concrete at 90 days of curing.

Sample Slump Value of Split tensile strength at 90 days Young’s modulus at 90 days Ultrasonic Pulse Velocity
concrete (mm) (N/mm2) (N/mm2)
Pulse Velocity Concrete quality Dynamic modulus
(m/s) grading (N/mm2)
Reference 30 2.32 21188.61 5.025 Excellent 1.55  106
CEX 2% 33 2.61 23777.21 5.208 Excellent 1.66  106
CEX 4% 35 2.83 25263.35 5.319 Excellent 1.73  106
CEX 6% 38 3.24 28404.2 5.347 Excellent 1.75  106
CEX 8% 40 3.78 32537.31 5.434 Excellent 1.82  106
CEX 10% 44 4.39 34233.07 5.464 Excellent 1.84  106

40 35

35 30
Compressive Strength in Mpa

Compressive Strngth in Mpa


30
25
25
7 Days 20 7 Days
20
28 Days 14 Days
15
15 56 Days 28 Days
90 Days 56 Days
10 10
90 Days
5 5

0
Reference CEX 2% CEX 4% CEX 6% CEX 8% CEX 10% 0
Sample Identity Reference CEX 2 % CEX 4 % CEX 6 % CEX 8 % CEX 10 %
Sample Identity

Fig. 2. Compressive strength in studied concretes.


Fig. 4. Self-curing characteristic of CEX modified concrete cured in air.

12
the hydration of cement paste, the pectin incorporates a certain
quantity of calcium ions in their structure; hence, the galacturonic
Flextural Strength in Mpa

10

acid can form strong intermolecular association among the galac-


8
turonan chains by forming calcium bridges, with an effect in
6 28 days enhancing viscosity [65,66]. As the concentrations of Ca2+ lowers
56 days in fluid, the rates of hydration of cement minerals is enhanced to
4 90 days equalize the calcium ion concentrations. The divalent Ca2+ ions link
2

0
Reference CEX 2% CEX 4% CEX 6% CEX 8% CEX 10%
Sample Identity

Fig. 3. Flexure strength in studied concretes.

polymer components [63]. Thus, proteins and polysaccharides


might contribute to retarding the drying shrinkage of the modified
cement preventing also the formation of cracks [64]. Finally,
regarding water retaining capability, its increase with CEX% can
be interpreted as an effect of viscosity-increasing.

4.2. Fresh state properties of concrete

The results of the workability test of reference and CEX modi-


fied concrete are presented in Table 4; the obtained results indicate
that the workability of the mixes increases with increasing concen-
tration of CEX%. Thus, the biopolymer seems to play a relevant role
in enhancing the workability of the modified concretes. This
behavior might be explained as a result of the galacturonic acid
of pectin fraction present in bio-additive, as evidenced in FT-IR
spectrum collected on CEX modified concrete (bands around Fig. 5. X-ray diffraction patterns collected on (a) reference concrete (b) CEX
1635 cm 1 and 1420 cm 1 [63,64], Fig. 1b). Specifically, during modified concrete (CEX 10% cured after 90 days).
D. Shanmugavel et al. / Construction and Building Materials 257 (2020) 119585 5

Fig. 6. TGA for (a) reference concrete (b) CEX modified concrete (CEX 10% cured after 90 days).

the polymeric chains of pectin, thus improving the plasticity of the to note that compressive strength decreases at 7 days curing
concrete mix. Therefore, the viscous nature of cactus extract makes regardless of the CEX%, while it increases with increasing CEX%
the concrete mix more workable, thereby improving the consis- after 28, 56 and 90 days of curing time. The early-stage reduction
tency of the additive modified concrete mix. in strength at 7 curing days can be an effect of the hardening retard
in biopolymer modified cement, according to the already observed
4.3. Mechanical properties moisture retentivity changes and explained role of polysaccharides
in retaining the moisture content in cement (see bending vibration
The results of the compressive strength of reference and CEX at 3460 cm 1 in CEX modified cement FTIR spectrum attributable
modified concretes at 7, 28, 56 and 90 days of curing in water to polysaccharides effects, Fig. 1b). Similarly, the elastic modulus
are presented in Fig. 2. Up to the obtained results, it is possible increases with CEX% increasing, as shown in Table 4. The positive
6 D. Shanmugavel et al. / Construction and Building Materials 257 (2020) 119585

effect of CEX additive is also reflected in the flexural behavior The results of sulphate resistance at 28 days are reported in
(Fig. 3); flexural strength increases in fact with the dosage of the Fig. 8. The compressive strength of the concrete exhibit an increas-
additive. The results of the split tensile strength of the concrete ing of 6.3%, 10.5%, 15.34%, 17.98% and 25.39% respect to the refer-
on reference concrete and additive modified concrete at 90 days ence concrete in 2%, 4%, 6%, 8% and 10% CEX dosage, respectively.
are presented in Table 4. The split tensile strength of the concrete Also in this case, the CEX dosage seems to improve the durability
was also found to be increased by 12.5%, 21.98%, 39.65%, 62.93% of concretes with respect to external attacks.
and 89.22% at 2%, 4%, 6%, 8% and 10% dosage of CEX, respectively, The results of the Rapid Chloride Penetration Test (RCPT) on ref-
in comparison to the reference concrete. Finally, the results of erence modified concretes at 90 days of curing are summarized in
the Ultrasonic Pulse Velocity test on reference and additive modi- Table 5. The results evidenced that the Coulomb charges passed
fied concrete at 90 days are presented in Table 4. The pulse velocity through the modified concrete decrease with the CEX% increasing.
through the concrete increase with an increase in CEX% dosage The chloride permeability was found to be high on reference con-
compared to the reference concrete, which shows an excellent con- crete, moderate on 2%, 4% and 6% CEX respectively, low on 8% CEX
crete quality grade of additive modified concrete. and 10% CEX. Specifically, it is around 4860 for the reference con-
The enhanced mechanical characteristics of CEX modified con- crete, while it is around 2500 for 2% and 4% CEX, indicating mod-
cretes could be due to the effect of polysaccharides present in erate chloride penetration and below the lower limit, according
CEX solution. The additive also acts as an adhesive that produced to ASTM C1202 - 1997 [53]; the values are even lower (of the order
a solid microstructure of concrete [67] and reduces the shrinkage
and subsequent micro cracking. And as an effect, the consumption
of Ca2+ ions by the pectin in CEX enhanced the hydration of cement
25
particles [55]. The relatively lesser modulus of elasticity in con-
crete without additive could be due to the lack of water which is
required for the cement to completely hydrate. Speedy drying up
20

Compressive strength in Mpa


of water from the concrete surface triggers their shrinkage [68]
resulting in lower elasticity. Shrinkage due to lack of moisture in
the reference concrete causes microcracks due to tension created 15
in its internal structure and subsequent volume changes that
adversely impact the growth of modulus of elasticity [69,70].
Whereas in the case of additive modified concrete necessary mois- 10
ture is provided by the polysaccharides present in CEX that reduces
the shrinkage and subsequent microcracking thereby resulted in
5
increased modulus of elasticity
The self-curing characteristic of additive CEX was studied on
samples cured in air at 27 °C. The results are presented in Fig. 4.
0
Self-cured CEX concretes exhibit higher strength with the increase Reference CEX 2% CEX 4% CEX 6% CEX 8% CEX 10%
in the dosage of the additive, since the beginning of the curing per- Sample Identity
iod. This behavior could be attributed to the continuation of the
hydration process due to the presence of moisture (water retentiv- Fig. 7. Resistance against acid attack at 28 days.
ity) provided by the polysaccharides. This leads to the generation
of more amount of CSH that results in lower voids and pores,
and greater bond force between the cement paste and aggregates
[71–73], leading to better mechanical resistance. 25
Compressive Strength in Mpa

X-Ray diffraction patterns collected on modified concretes pro-


vided an insight into changes induced to the CEX modified concrete 20
behavior by the biopolymer (Fig. 5). XRD analysis revealed a reduc-
tion of portlandite in the CEX modified concrete. This is an indica- 15
tion of the early consumption of portlandite to form calcium
silicate hydrate phases. Higher intense peaks of C2S and C3S phases 10
are observed in the CEX 10% concrete sample compared to the ref-
erence concrete samples. The composition of CEX modified cement 5
support the observed enhanced mechanical properties; CSH is a
strength contributing phase, contributing to better filling voids in 0
Reference CEX 2% CEX 4% CEX 6% CEX 8% CEX 10%
concrete [65]. These results are further substantiated by thermo-
Sample Identity
gravimetric analysis (Fig. 6). Looking at dehydration from 105 °C
to 400 °C [74], it is 4.93% in a reference sample while increase up
to 5.86% in the CEX 10% sample, indicating higher CSH amount in Fig. 8. Resistance against sulphate attack at 28 days.
the CEX modified concretes.

4.4. Durability properties Table 5


RCPT results on reference and CEX modified concretes.
In Fig. 7 the results of resistance against acid attack at 28 days Sample Charge passed (Coulombs) Chloride permeability
are shown. The residual compressive strength of the additive mod-
Reference 4860 High
ified concrete samples was found to increase of 7.5%, 9.7%, 13.5%, CEX 2% 2592 Moderate
16.75% and 20% in 2%, 4%, 6%, 8% and 10% CEX, respectively, in com- CEX 4% 2439 Moderate
parison to the reference concrete. This result indicates that the CEX CEX 6% 2268 Moderate
additive serves as a protective polymeric film against the intrusion EX 8% 1684 Low
CEX 10% 1529 Low
of sulphuric acid, providing a more effective barrier.
D. Shanmugavel et al. / Construction and Building Materials 257 (2020) 119585 7

of 1500 C charges) for further increase in dosages of CEX. Generally, Declaration of Competing Interest
the resistance of plain cement concrete specimens against chloride
penetration decreases with increasing water-cement ratio of the The authors declare that they have no known competing finan-
mix, as a result of the porous microstructure [75]. This resistance cial interests or personal relationships that could have appeared
to chloride penetration of the additive modified concrete could to influence the work reported in this paper.
be attributed to the reduction of pores between the cement parti-
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