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Examinations of mortar prisms exposed to freeze-thaw cycling have been performed in order to evaluate the influence of silica dust on the frost resistance of concrete. The results, mainly based on measurements of residual length change, show that the addition of silica dust improves the durability of the mortars against frost attack. Air entrainment does not seem to have much effect in combination with silica dust. Despite the reduction in water requirement when a plasticizer is used, this admixture is not necessary to obtain a frost-resistant concrete. The improved effect caused by silica dust may be explained by an alteration of the pore size distribution leading to an increased amount of pores which seem to be efficient in combating frost action.
silica dust, mortar, frost action, durability, building materials
Senior research engineer, Federation of Norwegian Industries, Oslo,