Urban underground space resources are gaining increasing attention for the sustainable development of cities. Traditional concrete cannot meet the needs of underground construction.
The concrete microstructure was analyzed and used to assess the mechanisms through which the nano-SiO2 and basalt fibers affect the strength of concrete.
The cement hydration productions in concrete produced varied with the dosage of nano-SiO2. When the nano-SiO2 dosage was between 0 and 1.8%, the mass of the C-S-H gel and AFt crystals increased gradually with the nano-SiO2 dosage.
When the nano-SiO2 dosage was 1.2%, optimum amounts of C-S-H gel and AFt crystals existed, and the compactness of concrete was well, which agreed with the results of the compressive strength tests. When the basalt-fiber dosage was between 3 and 4 kg/m3, the basalt fibers and the cement matrix were closely bonded, and the splitting tensile strength of the concrete markedly improved.
When the basalt-fiber dosage exceeded 5 kg/m3, the basalt fibers clustered together, resulting in weak bonding between the basalt fibers and the cement matrix and, consequently, the basalt fibers were easily pulled apart from the cement.
When the nano-SiO2 and basalt fiber dosages were 1.2% and 3 kg/m3, respectively, the compactness of the concrete microstructure was well and the strength enhancement was the greatest; additionally, the compressive strength and splitting tensile strength were 9.04% and 17.42%, respectively, greater than those of plain concrete.
The macroscopic tests on the mechanical properties of the nano-SiO2 concrete containing basalt fibers agreed well with the results of microstructure analysis.
Qinyong Ma, Ying Zhu
Engineering Research Center ofUnderground Mine Construction, Ministry of Education,AnhuiUniversity of Science and Technology, Huainan, 232001, Anhui, P. R. China.