Understanding the Temporary Water Binding Potential of Very-Fine Grained Materials

  • Jedadiah Burroughs (U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center)


Ultra-high performance concrete is generally developed through the mixing of multiple fine to very fine powders with limited volumes of water and admixtures leading to increased mixing time and difficulty. To facilitate easier and more efficient mixing, water demand at very early ages must be well characterized and understood. Traditional ASTM methods are unsatisfactory for characterizing the water demand of very-fine grained materials like silica fumes used in UHPC due to the difficulty in ascertaining their saturated surface dry conditions. This study considered several alternate approaches to quantify the required water demand for such constituents of a UHPC mixture and discusses the necessity of including these characteristics in proper mixture design. Alternate approaches considered included statistical approximation, atmospheric absorption, vacuum filtration, and dynamic vapor sorption analyses. Advantages and disadvantages of each approach are discussed, and recommendations for preferred protocols and analysis are given.

Keywords: material characterization, water demand, mixing, workability

How to Cite:

Burroughs, J., (2023) “Understanding the Temporary Water Binding Potential of Very-Fine Grained Materials”, International Interactive Symposium on Ultra-High Performance Concrete 3(1): 88. doi:

Rights: © 2023 The Author(s). All rights reserved.

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Published on
04 Jun 2023
Peer Reviewed