Investigation of the Internal Structure of Hardened 3D-Printed Concrete by X-CT Scanning and Its Influence on the Mechanical Performance

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A1 Alkuperäisartikkeli tieteellisessä aikakauslehdessä
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Materials, Volume 16, issue 6
As we know, 3DPC is printed layer by layer compared with mold-casting conventional concrete. Pore structure and layer-to-layer interface are two main aspects of the internal structure for 3DPC, which decide 3DPC’s mechanical performance. The layer-to-layer interface caused by printing is specific to 3DPC. The emphasis of this study lies in the layer-to-layer interfaces of 3DPC. The first aim of this study is to quantify the characteristics of the layer-to-layer interface and therefore characterize different aspects of the interfaces. The second aim of this study is to explore how the internal structure of printed concrete influences the mechanical performance of 3DPC. This research set out to design a series of experimental comparisons between 3DPC and casted concrete with the same compositions. Mechanical tests, i.e., compressive stress, ultrasonic Pulse Velocity test, flexural tension, and tension splitting, as well as the Ultrasonic Pulse Velocity test, were performed to check the mechanical performance of3DPC. Contrary to what has often been expected, the mechanical test results showed the printed concrete has a quality not worse than casted concrete with the same recipe. Meanwhile, the X-ray computed tomography (X-CT) is used to characterize the internal structure, pore shapes, and interfaces of 3DPC. First, the investigation revealed that the lower total porosity and fewer big voids could be the fundamental causes meaning 3DPC has a better mechanical performance than casted concrete. Second, the statistics based on aspect ratio show that the distribution curves follow similar trends, regardless of the printed or casted concrete. Third, this study quantified the depth of the different interfaces for 3DPC. The results suggest that the porosity in an interface varies in a range. The author’s pioneer work has contributed to our present understanding of the interfaces of 3DPC.
Funding Information: This work was supported by the European Union Horizon 2020 research programme under MSCA COFUND grant agreement 101034352 with co-funding from the VUB-Industrial Research Fund: X-ray tomography was also supported by the Academy of Finland via RAMI infrastructure project (#293109). Publisher Copyright: © 2023 by the authors.
3D-printed concrete, hardened concrete, interface, internal structure, X-ray computed tomography
Chen , Y , Kuva , J , Mohite , A , Li , Z , Rahier , H , Al-Neshawy , F & Shu , J 2023 , ' Investigation of the Internal Structure of Hardened 3D-Printed Concrete by X-CT Scanning and Its Influence on the Mechanical Performance ' , Materials , vol. 16 , no. 6 , 2534 .