Influence of titanium dioxide nanoparticles on the sulfate attack upon ordinary Portland cement and slag-blended mortars

Atta-ur-Rehman, Abdsul Qudoos, Hong Gi Kim, Jae Suk Ryou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

10 Scopus citations


In this study, the effects of titanium dioxide (TiO2) nanoparticles on the sulfate attack resistance of ordinary Portland cement (OPC) and slag-blended mortars were investigated. OPC and slag-blended mortars (OPC:Slag = 50:50) were made with water to binder ratio of 0.4 and a binder to sand ratio of 1:3. TiO2 was added as an admixture as 0%, 3%, 6%, 9% and 12% of the binder weight. Mortar specimens were exposed to an accelerated sulfate attack environment. Expansion, changes in mass and surface microhardness were measured. Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM), Energy Dispersive Spectroscopy (EDS), X-ray Diffraction (XRD), Thermogravimetry Analysis (TGA) and Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC) tests were conducted. The formation of ettringite and gypsum crystals after the sulfate attack were detected. Both these products had caused crystallization pressure in the microstructure of mortars and deteriorated the mortars. Our results show that the addition of nano-TiO2 accelerated expansion, variation in mass, loss of surface microhardness and widened cracks in OPC and slag-blended mortars. Nano-TiO2 containing slag-blended mortars were more resistant to sulfate attack than nano-TiO2 containing OPC mortars. Because nano-TiO2 reduced the size of coarse pores, so it increased crystallization pressure due to the formation of ettringite and gypsum thus led to more damage under sulfate attack.

Original languageEnglish
Article number356
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Feb 28



  • Blast furnace slag
  • Cement
  • Deterioration
  • Expansion
  • Microcracks
  • Mortar
  • Nanoparticles
  • Photocatalysis
  • Sulfate attack
  • Titanium dioxide

Cite this