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the three cement contents.

This causes the water content to
increase with increasing cement content and SF/C content.
The discusser wishes to know the opinion of the authors,
whether the increased mass of water in addition to that of
cement content and SF/C has an adverse effect, causing the
material more susceptible to explosive spalling.
The authors mention in the introduction, also citing from
the literature,1 that RPC has a compressive strength in the
range of 200 to 800 MPa (29,008 to 116,000 psi) and a
modulus of rupture in the range of 25 to 150 MPa (3626 to
21,756 psi). Material covered by the investigation, however,
achieved a compressive strength range of approximately
100 to 150 MPa (14,504 to 21,756 psi) and flexural strength
range of 17 to 27 MPa (2466 to 3916 psi). There, only the
flexural strength has just crept in to the range for RPC. The
authors may agree that ingredients of the micro-concrete
covered by the investigation match with those commonly
used for making RPC, but the strength values. Compressive
strength is known to be related to porosity, and flexural
strength somewhat to toughness. Both properties affect the
behavior of material under fire. The discusser welcomes the
authors to clarify whether it is reasonable to consider if the
material tested would truly represent the category grouped
and termed as RPC.
Thank you for your discussion. The responses are
numbered in the same order as submitted by the discusser.
1. The discusser’s comment is correct. In the section on
materials and mixture proportions, “0.5 mm (0.2 in.) diameter” is a typographical error and it should be corrected as
0.5 mm (0.02 in.).*
2. In Table  1, the specific surface area (fineness) of
silica fume was measured using BET nitrogen gas adsorption method, but the cement was determined by the Blaine
3. The authors agree that the behavior of the unstressed
specimens in fire situations is very likely to be different to
that of the same material in a member performing a structural
role. However, this study was a fundamental experiment for
the fire performance and explosive spalling behavior of RPC,
*The online version of the paper has been updated and can be accessed at

and then the unstressed fire test was applied to various RPC
specimens with different cement and silica fume contents.
The various studies on fire resistance of RPC members using
load-bearing fire tests may be performed in the future.
4. The discusser might be confused about a maximum
temperature in the fire test. As shown in Fig. 1 (the standard
temperature-time heating curve of the KS F 2257-1 method),
the RPC specimens were heated to a maximum temperature
of 1095°C (2003°F).
5. The RPC Specimen 95C40SF8PP was completely
scattered by explosive spalling in the fire test, and then
the porosity of the specimen after the fire test could not be
measured. Thus, the porosity of Specimen 95C40SF8PP was
presented as 0% in Fig. 8. The aforementioned comment
needed to be inserted in the section of “Pore structure
analysis of RPC,” but it was omitted.
6. The w/b is a main parameter in the explosive spalling
of RPC exposed to high temperature. Although the w/b was
fixed at 0.18  in this study, the water content in the specimens might be increased with increasing cement and silica
fume contents because the amount of binder (cement and
SF) was not kept constant per unit volume among specimens. The authors agree that the increased water content
would contribute to the adverse effect in the susceptibility of
RPC for the explosive spalling, but the authors also believe
that the adverse effect may not be significant because the
variation of water content among the specimens was not
7. In this study, the flexural strength of the specimens
was in the range of 25 to 150 MPa (3626 to 21,756 psi),
but the compressive strength did not reach the range of
200 to 800 MPa (29,008 to 116,000 psi). The specimens
were manufactured using various powders such as cement,
silica fume, and very fine quartz sand (approximately 0.15 to
0.4 mm [0.006 to 0.016 in.]) instead of ordinary aggregate
based on the composition element and principle of the
conventional RPC, which is characterized by a very low
w/b and very dense microstructure. Therefore, the authors
believe that the fire performance and spalling behavior of
RPC with a compressive strength of 200 MPa (29,008 psi)
would be similar to that of the investigation in this study.
However, the discusser’s comment is reasonable, and it is
necessary to review them.

Disc. 111-M30/From the May-June 2014 ACI Materials Journal, p. 335

Properties of Strength and Pore Structure of Reactive Powder Concrete Exposed to High Temperature.
Paper by Hyoung-Seok So, Je-Bang Yi, Janchivdorj Khulgadai and Seung-Young So
Discussion by José R. Martí-Vargas
Professor, Institute of Concrete Science and Technology, Universitat Politècnica de València, Valencia, Spain

The discussed paper presents an interesting experimental
study on fire performance, explosive spalling behavior,
residual mechanical properties, and change in pore structure
and hydrate products of reactive powder concrete (RPC)
with various contents of cement (C), silica fume (SF), and
polypropylene (PP) fibers. The authors should be compli320

mented for producing a detailed paper, which provides
guidelines for improving resistance to thermal spalling of
RPC structural members under fire situations. Some findings
are of interest to the discusser, who would like to address the
following comments and questions for their consideration
and response.
ACI Materials Journal/March-April 2015

the curves display a considerable displacement to the right and cover greater pore sizes after the fire tests (Fig. As seen in Table 3. The increased cement and silica fume contents in RPC specimens led to the formation of denser microstructures.9% in Mixture 70C30SF8PP. The responses are numbered in the same order as submitted by the discusser. 321 .1 to 100 μm of the 95C30SF8PP specimen that showed partial spalling after the fire test was as high as 99. As shown in Fig. the discusser believes that pore size distributions change between before and after the fire test stages: as seen in Fig.8% of total pore volume.8% in Mixture 95C30SF8PP. and 80C-40SF-8PP. the RPC specimens with up to 2. which contributed to the release of the water vapor accumulated in the RPC matrix. Therefore. To obtain accurate results. and to offer a better understanding.0 kg/m3 (3. as observed in Fig.1  to 100  μm (0. can the authors provide some details on how correct loading was guaranteed in the compressive tests? As stated by the authors.1 to 100 μm (0. The authors also believe that the analyses for the proportions and pore size distributions in RPC matrix before and after the fire tests.0 kg/m3 (13.  6 and 9. and the results were presented by a value on average.0 kg/m3 (3.) in the total pore volume decreased with increasing C and SF contents. and this phenomenon seems more pronounced than the potential variations based on C and SF contents. The porosities and pore size distributions of the RPC specimens were measured by mercury intrusion porosimetry (MIP).5% corresponds to situations before the fire tests (Fig. 70C-40SF-8PP.2% in Mixture 80C30SF8PP. After the fire tests.395 to 395 × 10–5 in. the specimens were visually inspected to determine whether or not explosive spalling had occurred. Therefore. and explosive spalling occurred in the RPC specimens when this proportion dropped to less than 50.5 lb/yd3)—four times the detailed amount—showed different damage after fire tests. the analyses based on the proportions and pore size distributions after the fire tests are suggested. together with analyses of the cases that resulted in partial spalling and/or seeping out of molten steel and PP fibers.38 lb/yd3) of PP fibers showed spalling (partial or explosive) or seeping out of molten steel and PP fibers. 6(b) and 9(b)) if compared to the pore sizes covered by the curves before the fire tests (Fig. the effect of PP fiber content depends on the C and SF contents. As several cylinder-shaped RPC specimens resulted in certain damage due to partial spalling. and the detailed amount of 2. In addition. the susceptibility of RPC to explosive spalling was increased with increasing cement and silica fume contents. permeability of concrete is related with percolation of the interfacial transition zones (ITZs) between the cement paste and aggregates. whereas changes in pore size distribution were significant. Therefore.38 lb/yd3) may not be enough to offer an effective role. The authors state that the residual compressive and flexural strengths of RPC specimens after fire tests were determined for specimens to maintain their shapes without spalling. (b) partial spalling for Mixtures 70C-40SF-8PP.38 lb/yd3) of PP fibers in RPC is effective in preventing the explosive spalling of specimens in fireresistance tests conducted up to 1095°C (2003°F). the pore-volume proportion of 0. and the PP fiber content of 2. 95.The authors concluded that addition of more than 2. Hence. 7 and 9). AUTHORS’ CLOSURE Thank you for your discussion.5%. as follows from Table  4: (a) seeping out of molten steel and PP fibers for Mixtures 70C-25SF-8PP. The authors partially agree with the discusser’s opinion. 6 and 9. and (c) explosive spalling for Mixture 95C-40SF-8PP. Hence.38 lb/yd3) may not be enough to offer an effective role in cases such as the 95C-40SF-8PP mixture (Table 4). 1. Therefore. 80C-40SF-8PP. which shows the efficiency of mixing PP fibers and steel fibers and the influence of PP fiber content.0 kg/m3 (3. including the relation with the spalling. the effect of PP fiber content in preventing the explosive spalling of RPC at elevated temperatures may be influenced by the cement and silica fume contents. and 95C-30SF-8PP.) in all RPC specimens was significantly increased after the fire tests.8% in Mixture 95C30SF8PP). This proportion in the total pore volume increased with increasing the cement and silica fume contents (96.395 to 395 × 10–5 in. the pore volume proportion of 0. the three or more measurable specimens without serious damages were selected for compressive and flexural strength tests. 95. 2. which perhaps has not been noted by the authors.) seems to increase after the fire tests. and 99. 6(a) and 9(a)). the differences in porosity among the RPC specimens according to C and SF contents were not significant. the detailed proportion of 50.1 to ACI Materials Journal/March-April 2015 100 μm (0. may provide a better understanding for the explosive spalling of RPC.395  to 395  × 10–5 in. In particular. 3. the pore-volume proportion of 0. the pore-volume proportion of 0. 5 and 8. However. The residual compressive and flexural strengths of the RPC specimens after the fire tests were measured for specimens to maintain their shapes without spalling. and thus the buildup of internal water vapor pressure at elevated temperatures. which is of paramount importance to spalling performance. Furthermore.9% in Mixture 95C25SF8PP. 99. 6(b) and 9(b). As shown in Fig.0 kg/m3 (3. the discusser notes that several RPC specimens with a PP fiber content of 8.

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