Pore and Solid Characterizations of Interfacial Transition Zone of Mortar Using Microcomputed Tomography Images

Sang Yeop Chung, Ji Su Kim, Paul H. Kamm, Dietmar Stephan, Tong Seok Han, Mohamed Abd Elrahman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


The interfacial transition zone (ITZ) in concrete is known as the weakest link of the material, and significantly affects the properties of concrete. This study aims to investigate the actual microstructure of the ITZ using microcomputed tomography (micro-CT) in three dimensions (3D). For this purpose, high-resolution synchrotron micro-CT images of materials are used to visualize and examine the 3D ITZ of cement-based specimens. A set of mortar specimens with different water-cement (w/c) ratios as well as different aggregate types and sizes were prepared and compared to investigate the effect of each condition on the characteristics of the ITZ. The microstructural characteristics of the pores and the solid structures of the ITZ are characterized based on the information of grayscale images. The obtained results show the effective investigation on the pore and solid characteristics of the ITZ microstructure by using 3D nondestructive micro-CT; this approach is useful for further detailed investigation of the ITZ.

Original languageEnglish
Article number04021348
JournalJournal of Materials in Civil Engineering
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Dec 1

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The project is supported by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF, Project No. 41413XP5010B); the Korea Agency for Infrastructure Technology Advancement (KAIA) grant funded by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport (Grant No. 21NANO-B156177-02); and the Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power Co. (No. 2019-TECH-01). The micro-CT images were obtained from the synchrotron operated by PAL in the Republic of Korea.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 American Society of Civil Engineers.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Mechanics of Materials


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