Jóźwiak-Niedźwiedzka, Daria; Dąbrowski, Mariusz; Dziedzic, Kinga; Jarząbek, Dariusz; Antolik, Aneta; Denis, Piotr; Glinicki, Michał A.
Materials and Structures/Materiaux et Constructions 55 (2022)
Prediction of carbonation progress in concrete exposed to ionizing radiation is important for the durability assessment of nuclear power plants, eventually needed for operational license extension. The objective of this work is to reveal the influence of gamma irradiation on the carbonation development and resulting microstructural features of cement mortar. The composition of mortar was varied by using mineral additions. Canned specimens at elevated CO2 concentration environment were exposed to gamma irradiation up to the absorbed dose of 1.6 MGy in the vicinity of spent nuclear fuel rods in pool of research reactor. Micromechanical properties of carbonation reaction products were determined using nanoindentation tests. The carbonation depth was found to increase with increasing absorbed γ dose. The size of calcite crystals was about three times greater in irradiated specimens. Gamma irradiation improved the micromechanical properties of carbonation products. Effects of mineral additives on the characteristics of irradiated mortar are discussed.