Volume 20, Issue 1 (January 1992)
Comparison of Fine Particle Colemanite and Boron Frit in Concrete for Time-Strength Relationship
The element boron, when added to concrete, has proved effective in shielding neutron particles by absorbing the neutron and emitting a low-energy gamma ray. The various boron additives used with concrete can severely retard the set time and strength gain. An advantage to using small particle size boron is that the smaller grain size provides better boron disbursement within the concrete matrix to absorb neutrons. However, boron additives of powder consistency are usually not used due to the greater potential of forming chemical solutions that act as a retarder in the concrete.
Research has shown that the amount of boron additives in concrete can be reduced significantly if fine grain particles can be successfully incorporated into the concrete matrix. The purpose of this study is to compare strength gain characteristics of concrete mixes containing various quantities of fine grain boron additive. The boron additive colemanite, a natural mineral, is compared with two brands of manufactured aggregate, boron frit. Concrete test cylinders are molded for testing the compressive strength of the mix after 4, 7, 28, and 56 days. Tested are five different quantities of colemanite as well as five comparable amounts of boron frit for each brand of the material. The test values are compared with a control concrete specimen containing no boron additive. Results of this study can be used to optimize the cost and effectiveness of boron additives in radiation shielding concrete.