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Research Article

Effects of cellulose nanocrystals on improving the acid resistance of cementitious composites in mining

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  • Received: 4 April 2020Revised: 5 May 2020Accepted: 6 May 2020Available online: 9 May 2020
  • Acid mine drainage has been an important threat to cementitious structures. To improve the acid resistance of cementitious composites used under acid mine drainage attack, this study is aimed at investigating the effect of cellulose nanocrystals (CNCs) on the acid resistance of cementitious composites. CNCs were added to the mortar mixtures as additives at cement volume ratios of 0.2%, 0.4%, 1% and 1.5%. After 28 days of standard curing, the samples were immersed in sulfuric acid with a pH of 2 for 75 days. The unconfined compressive strength (UCS) test, density, absorption and voids test and thermo-gravimetric analysis (TGA) were carried out to investigate the properties of CNC mixtures before sulfuric acid immersion. It was found that the addition of CNC reduced the volume of permeable voids and increased the hydration degree and mechanical strength. Changes in mass and length were monitored during immersion to evaluate the acid resistance of mixtures. The mixture with 0.4% CNC showed improved acid resistance due to the reduced mass change and length change after brushing.
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Effects of cellulose nanocrystals on improving the acid resistance of cementitious composites in mining

  • Corresponding author:

    Wei Victor Liu    E-mail: victor.liu@ualberta.ca

  • 1. School of Mining and Petroleum Engineering, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta T6G 2E3, Canada
  • 2. Utility Planning & Design, EPCOR Utilities Inc, Edmonton, AB T5M 3B8, Canada

Abstract: Acid mine drainage has been an important threat to cementitious structures. To improve the acid resistance of cementitious composites used under acid mine drainage attack, this study is aimed at investigating the effect of cellulose nanocrystals (CNCs) on the acid resistance of cementitious composites. CNCs were added to the mortar mixtures as additives at cement volume ratios of 0.2%, 0.4%, 1% and 1.5%. After 28 days of standard curing, the samples were immersed in sulfuric acid with a pH of 2 for 75 days. The unconfined compressive strength (UCS) test, density, absorption and voids test and thermo-gravimetric analysis (TGA) were carried out to investigate the properties of CNC mixtures before sulfuric acid immersion. It was found that the addition of CNC reduced the volume of permeable voids and increased the hydration degree and mechanical strength. Changes in mass and length were monitored during immersion to evaluate the acid resistance of mixtures. The mixture with 0.4% CNC showed improved acid resistance due to the reduced mass change and length change after brushing.

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