Effect of Different Shear Rates on Particle Microstructure of Cementitious Materials in a Wide Gap Vane-in-cup Rheometer
Rheological properties of cementitious suspensions are affected not only by their mixture composition but also by process-related factors such as shear history. To enable a model-based description, investigations were carried out on the effect of shear history (shear rate variation over time) on the cement paste agglomeration state. Therefore, a Focused Beam Reflectance Measurement (FBRM) system and a wide gap rheometer were coupled to study the relation between shear history and in-situ chord length distribution simultaneously, indicating particle agglomeration. Hence, the effect of average shear rates (resulting from the applied shear profile), as well as shear rate distribution within the gap (local shear rates) on the particle agglomeration state have been investigated. The rheological properties of cement paste were evaluated with the Reiner-Riwlin approach. Furthermore, the agglomeration state of the particles was compared for different average shear rates and local shear rates at various positions of the FBRM probe. The results show that the median chord length increases in all positions when the average shear rate is decreased, indicating increasing particle agglomeration. Moreover, due to variable local shear rates at different FBRM probe positions, different agglomeration states are observed, resulting from two factors, shear rate dependent particle agglomeration and shear-induced particle migration.