Sulfate-Attack Resistance and Gamma-Irradiation Resistance of Some Portland Cement Based Mortars (NUREG/CR-5279)

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Publication Information

Manuscript Completed: November 1988
Date Published:
March 1989

Prepared by:
P. Soo, L.W. Milian

Brookhaven National Laboratory
Upton, NY 11973

Prepared for:
Division of Engineering
Office of Nuclear Regulatory Research
U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission
Washington, DC 20555


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Sulfate-attack and gamma-irradiation tests were carried out on three Portland cement mortars. For the sulfate attack work an accelerated test was used involving alternate immersion in Na2S04 solution and oven drying of the samples. Attack was monitored through length-change measurements. Cement mortar containing silica fume gave unexpectedly poor resistance to attack. Reasons for this behavior are unclear. Gamma irradiation was found to cause losses in compressive strength at low doses in the 107 rad range. The irradiation time is a major factor in the strength-loss mechanism, whereas the dose rate is of secondary importance for the testing conditions studied.

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