Using the ultrasonic wave transmission method to study the setting behavior of foamed concrete

She Wei (Lead / Corresponding author), Zhang Yunsheng, M. R. Jones

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    44 Citations (Scopus)


    The objective of this paper is to investigate the possibility of using ultrasonic wave transmission method to study the setting behavior of foamed concretes (FC), and relate ultrasonic wave parameters to foamed concrete setting times. First, Anderson and Hampton's theory was used to analyze wave propagation and attenuation in poroelastic media containing considerable air bubbles characterized by 3D X-ray computed tomography (XCT). Then, the compressional (P) waves were used to automatically and continuously measure the FC pastes with different plastic density (300, 500, 800 and 1000 kg/m 3) and different fly ash contents (20%, 40% and 60% by weight of cement). The influence of curing temperatures (20, 40, 60 and 80 C) was also studied. Experimental and theoretical results indicated that the presence of air bubbles in cement paste significantly decreases the ultrasonic P wave velocity (UPV). Three characteristic stages can be identified during the setting process of an arbitrary FC paste: dormant stage, acceleration stage, and deceleration stage. Besides, a stepwise increase of the wet density results in shorter dormant stage, acceleration stage and larger final UPV. Hydration reaction rate is obviously promoted with an increase in curing temperature, while the reverse phenomenon is observed when fly ash is incorporated. Further analysis shows that the P wave velocity corresponding to the Vicat initial and final setting times is a relatively constant value with reasonable widths for the investigated density range. Finally, the corresponding ranges of UPV were given for setting time estimation in practical application.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)62-74
    Number of pages13
    JournalConstruction and Building Materials
    Early online date20 Nov 2013
    Publication statusPublished - 31 Jan 2014


    • Compressional waves
    • Fly ash
    • Foamed concrete
    • Pore structure
    • Setting behavior
    • Ultrasonic waves
    • X-ray computed tomography (XCT)

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Civil and Structural Engineering
    • Building and Construction
    • General Materials Science


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