Compressive strength, chloride diffusivity and pore structure of high performance metakaolin and silica fume concrete

Chi Sun Poon, S. C. Kou, L. Lam

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

431 Citations (Scopus)


This study is to relate the mechanical and durability properties of high performance metakaolin (MK) and silica fume concretes to their microstructure characteristics. The compressive strength and chloride penetrability of the control and the concretes incorporated with MK or silica fume (SF) at water-to-binder (w/b) ratios of 0.3 and 0.5 are determined. The pore size distribution and porosity of the concretes are also measured. The effect of MK and SF on the interfacial porosity is discussed based on test results. It is found that MK concrete has superior strength development and similar chloride resistance to SF concrete, and the MK concrete at a w/b of 0.3 has a lower porosity and smaller pore sizes than the control (plain) concrete. The resistance of the concretes to chloride ion penetration correlates better with the measured concrete porosity than with the paste porosity. The differences between the measured and calculated concrete porosity is smaller for MK and SF incorporated concrete than for the control concrete, indicating an improvement in the interfacial microstructure with the incorporation of the pozzolanas. This difference is found to be related to the strength and chloride penetrability of concrete to some degree.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)858-865
Number of pages8
JournalConstruction and Building Materials
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2006


  • High performance concrete
  • Metakaolin
  • Silica fume

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction
  • Materials Science(all)

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