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Key Engineering Materials Submitted: 2016-08-12

ISSN: 1662-9795, Vol. 722, pp 337-342 Revised: 2016-08-15

doi:10.4028/ Accepted: 2016-08-16
2017 Trans Tech Publications, Switzerland

Gypsum Mortars with Different Types of Aggregates:

Design and Properties
Magdalna DOLEELOV1,a, Jitka KREJSOV1,b and Alena VIMMROV1,c *
Department of Materials Engineering and Chemistry, Faculty of Civil Engineering,
Czech Technical University in Prague, Thkurova 7, 166 29 Prague, Czech Republic

Keywords: Gypsum paste, gypsum mortar, fine aggregate, mixture design.

Abstract. The influence of different types of fine aggregates on behavior and properties of gypsum
mortars was investigated. The design procedure and results of some basic physical tests are
described. The composition of mixtures was designed in order to minimize all other impacts than
type of aggregate. Four types of fine aggregates of different origin, with different shape and surface
of particles were used. The presence of fine aggregate in gypsum increases the bulk density and
reduces setting time. Crushed stone with angular rough particles worsen workability and reduce
setting time more significantly than aggregates with round and smooth particles.

Fine aggregate is usually not added to the gypsum mixture, because the volume changes of gypsum
during hydration are negligible and therefore the presence of fine aggregates against volume
changes is not necessary. Nevertheless the addition of fine aggregate could be beneficial because of
lower production costs and better fire performance [1]. Behavior of gypsum mixture with some
alternative aggregate types such as a recycled rubber particles from end-of-life tires [2], was already
investigated, but the influence of type, shape and structure of common types of fine aggregate
particles on gypsum properties has not yet been investigated in detail. Shape and origin of fine
aggregate could affect the behavior of gypsum mortar significantly.
This paper describes the design of suitable gypsum mixtures with the different aggregates, which
enable to investigate and subsequently compare the influence of different types of fine aggregates
on the properties of gypsum mortars.

Used Materials
The basic component of each mixture was commercial calcined gypsum (sulfate hemihydrate,
producer GYPSTREND Ltd.). Due to the short setting time of the gypsum, citric acid monohydrate
(producer Inchema Ltd.) was added as a setting retarder. Four different types of fine aggregates
were used as a filler. Their origin and basic properties are summarized in Table 1. The appearance
of each sand type can be seen in Fig. 1.

Table 1. Properties of used aggregate.

Designation Origin Producer Shape of grains Remark
Standardized sand
S2 Quarried Filtran psky Ltd. Rounded
(CEN, SN EN 196-1)
S3 Quarried Sklopsek Stele Inc. Rounded SiO2 > 99 %
S4 Natural crushed KMEN Zbraslav Inc. Angular -
S5 River bed, uncrushed TAPAS BOREK Ltd. Rounded -
338 Special Concrete and Composites 2016

(a) (b) (c) (d)

Fig. 1 Sand types and shape of particles. a) S2, b) S3, c) S4, d) S5.
Particle size distribution curves of aggregate S3, S4 and S5 were modified according to the particle
size distribution curve of standardized sand. Bulk density of each sand type was then determined.
Bulk density determination. Bulk density of aggregate was determined by measuring the volume
of a known mass of aggregate sample in a graduated cylinder with water. Amount of aggregate was
weighted and placed into the cylinder with measured amount of water. Volume of the aggregate was
determined due to the difference between water level without aggregate and water level with
aggregate. Bulk density v [kg/m3] was obtained using the Eq. 1, where m [kg] is the mass of
aggregate and V [m3] is volume of sand.

v = m/V (1)

Sieve analysis. The particle size distribution was determined according to the SN EN 933-2 [3].
Standardized sieves with apertures 0.063 mm, 0.09 mm, 0.125 mm, 0.25 mm, 0.5 mm, 1.0 mm, 2.0
mm and 4.0 mm were used. Mass of aggregate m1 [kg] was weighted and sieved first mechanically
and than also manually. Mass mx [kg] of aggregate left on each sieve was noted as ratio mx/m1 [-]. It
was checked, that sum of ratios is 100 1 %.

Mixture design
Particle size distribution of aggregates S3, S4 and S5 was modified according to the particle size
distribution curve of standardized sand S2. All aggregates were sieved and divided into separate
fractions. These fractions were subsequently mixed in required ratio so that particle size distribution
curve of each aggregate was the same as a particle size distribution curve of standardized sand.
(Fig. 2)
Passings [% by weight]

Particle size [mm]

Fig. 2 The particle size distribution curve of the standardized sand.
Key Engineering Materials Vol. 722 339

The aim of the experiment was to describe the influence of different aggregate types on gypsum
mixture behavior and properties. Composition of mixtures was designed to minimalize the influence
of other components, so that the volume ratio of each component in each mixture with aggregate
was same (with the exception of gypsum paste G). Four mixtures with fine aggregate, i.e. gypsum
mortars, (designated according to aggregate type GS2, GS3, GS4 and G5) and one mixture without
aggregate, i.e. gypsum paste (G) were designed. As an initial composition the mortar with
standardized sand (GS2), designed according to the SN EN 13454-2+A1 [4] was chosen. The
weight ratio between gypsum and fine aggregate (standardized sand) in the mixture GS2 was 1:2
(675 g : 1 350 g. Mass (and therefore the volume) of gypsum was the same in all mixtures. Mass of
fine aggregate in mixtures differed, because fine aggregate was dosed in order to keep always the
same volume of aggregate as in the mixture GS2. Therefore the mass of fine aggregate was counted
from its bulk density. Mass and bulk density of all aggregates can be seen in Table 2. Each
aggregate was dried before sieving and adding to the mixture.
Table 2. Mass and bulk density of fine aggregates.
Designation Mass in mixture [g] Bulk density [g/sm3]
S2 1350 2.58
S3 1271 2.43
S4 1381 2.63
S5 1367 2.61
Water/binder ratios of mixtures G and GS2 were found in order to keep the value of flow test
diameter 150 5 mm according to the SN EN 13454-2+A1 [4]. Water/binder ratios of mixtures
GS3, GS4 and GS5 were the same as water/binder ratio of the mixture GS2 in order to maintain the
same volume of water. The amount of citric acid was based on previous experiments and the citric
acid/gypsum ratio was the same in all mixtures. The compositions of the mixtures are in Table 3.
Table 3. The compositions of the mixtures.
Gypsum Setting retarder Water/binder ratio Fine aggregate
[%] [%] [-] [%]
GS2 33.32 0.03 0.53 66.65
GS3 34.67 0.03 0.53 65.30
GS4 32.82 0.03 0.53 67.15
GS5 33.05 0.03 0.53 66.92
G 99.92 0.08 0.45 -

Testing Procedures
Flow test. Flow test was used to determine the consistency of fresh mixtures according to the SN
EN 13454-2+A1 [4]. A standardized cone was placed on a manual flow table and filled with fresh
gypsum mixture. Mixture was compacted and cone was then raised. Flow table was 15 times raised
and dropped. The diameter of formed gypsum mass was measured in two perpendicular directions
and written down.
Setting time. The setting time of gypsum mixtures was determined using the manual standard Vicat
apparatus. A fresh gypsum mixture was placed in a Vicat ring on a glass slab. The penetration of
needle was periodically measured. The initial setting time is calculated as the time elapsed between
the initial contact of gypsum and water and the time when the needle is (6 3) mm above the glass
slab. The Vicat final setting time is calculated as the time when the needle does not sink more than
0.5 mm into the mixture.
Bulk density. Bulk density v [kg/m3] was determined by gravimetric method using the Eq. 1.
340 Special Concrete and Composites 2016

Porosity [-] and pore size distribution was determined by mercury intrusion porosimetry (MIP,
apparatus Pascal 140 + 440, Thermo Electron, Italy), density [kg/m3] was calculated from the
porosity and bulk density using the Eq. 2

= 1 (2)

Manufacture of test specimens. Prismatic samples of 40x40x160 mm size of each mixture were
produced. The preparation of samples was performed according to the SN EN 13454-2+A1 [4]. At
the preparation process firstly required amount of water was poured in a bowl and citric acid was
dissolved in it. Then gypsum was added. The mixture in a bowl was immediately placed in an
automatic mixer. Total time of mixing was 4 minutes, which included mixing for 30 s at low speed,
30 s of sand adding (except the mixture G) at low speed, 30 s mixing at high speed, 90 s pause
during which mixture was manually wiped from a bowl wall and mixing for 60 s at high speed.
After that, gypsum mixture was put in a mould and it was both mechanically and manually
compacted. Mechanical compacting took 120 s. Sample surface was smoothed by a metal knife.
Hardened samples were put out of moulds 60 90 min later and stored at 20 5 C and relative
humidity 50 5 %. Six day later samples were put in a climatic chamber and dried at 50 C to
constant weight. Bulk density and porosity were determined on the dry samples.

Results and Discussion

Results of flow test, initial and final setting of the mixtures are in Table 4.
Table 4. Consistency and setting times.
Flow test Initial setting time Final setting time
diameter [mm] [min] [min]
GS2 149 34 36
GS3 141 28 30
GS4 108 13 18
GS5 143 29 32
G 151 41 44
Results of flow test are between 141 mm and 151 mm for mixtures GS2, GS3, GS5 and G.
Similar results were expected due to the method of dosing. The consistency of mixture GS4 is
significantly lower (diameter only 108 mm), because this mixture contains particles of different
shape and surface. Fine aggregate S4 has angular and rough particles while other used aggregates
have rounded and smooth grains (Fig.1). Behavior of fresh mixtures is shown in Fig. 3. Gypsum
paste behavior is different than the behavior of gypsum mortar with the same result of flow test.
Subjectively could be said, that workability of the gypsum paste is better.

(a) (b)
Fig. 3 Consistency of fresh gypsum mortar GS2 (a) and gypsum paste G (b).
Key Engineering Materials Vol. 722 341

Results of flow test correspond with the initial setting times. Initial setting time of the mixture
GS4 is the shortest one and the flow test diameter of this mixture is smallest. Mixtures with bigger
diameter have longer initial setting time. The results also show that the mixture without fine
aggregate has the longest initial setting time which means that dried fine aggregate accelerates
setting. The setting time (difference between final setting time and initial setting time) of all
mixtures is very short. The longest setting time (mixture S4) is caused by sharp rough aggregate
particles again.
Results of bulk density, porosity and density are in Table 5. Bulk density of mixtures with the
aggregate rises by ca. 30 %, compared to the bulk density of gypsum paste which could be expected
due to the presence of heavier filler. Bulk density of gypsum mortars does not vary a lot, the
changes in bulk density correspond with the bulk density of particular aggregates.
Table 5. Bulk density, porosity and density.
Bulk density [g/cm ] 1764 1780 1796 1794 1311
Porosity [%] 27.8 22.4 28.5 28.3 43.4
Density [g/cm ] 2443 2294 2512 2502 2316
The porosity of gypsum paste is significantly lower than porosity of gypsum mortars and there is
also big difference between their pore size distribution (Fig. 4). The most of pores in all mixtures
has diameter between 0.1 - 10 m, but in the gypsum paste the pores with the diameter 1-10 m
prevail, while in the gypsum mortars mostly pores with diameter 0.1 - 1 can be found. Mortars with
the rounded particles (GS2, GS3, GS5) have similar pore size distribution, the mortar with angular
particles (GS4) has significantly higher amount of pores with the diameter 0.1 - 1 m and lower
amount of pores with diameter 1-100 m.

Fig. 4 Pore size distribution.

The gypsum mortars with different types of fine aggregates were designed in such a way, that only
properties of individual particles, as a shape and surface could have influence on the behavior and
properties of mortars. The results show, that the presence of fine aggregate has impact on the
workability and initial setting time. Gypsum mortars starts to set earlier and their workability is
worse. The pore size distribution differs also, gypsum paste contains bigger pores (mostly with
diameter 1 - 10 m) than gypsum mortars (with pore diameter mostly between 0.1 -10 m).
The shape of grain affects significantly the consistency and the initial setting time of mixture.
Mortar with angular and rough particles has lower consistency and its initial setting time is
342 Special Concrete and Composites 2016

distinctively shorter. The pore size distribution of this mortar is also different from the particle size
distribution of the mortars with the round and smooth particles.
The further research will focus on the investigation of the transit zone between the particles and
the gypsum paste. The tests of other physical properties, the mechanical properties and the thermal
properties will be tested on these mixtures.

This research has been supported by the project of GAR 16-01438S, SGS14/174/OHK1/3T/11
and SGS16/199/OHK1/3T/11.

[1] J. Krejsov, M. Doleelov, A. Vimmrov, Effect of high temperatures on gypsum paste and
mortar, Thermophysics 2016: 21st International Meeting (2016)
[2] S. Herrero, P. Mayor, F. Hernndez-Olivares, Influence of proportion and particle size
gradation of rubber from end-of-life tires on mechanical, thermal and acoustic properties of plaster
rubber mortars. Materials and Design. 47 (2013) 633642.
[3] SN EN 933-2 Tests for geometrical properties of aggregates - Part 2: Determination of particle
size distribution - Test sieves, nominal size of apertures ICS 91.100.20. Czech Standardization
Institute. April 1997.
[4] SN EN 13454-2+A1 Binders, composite binders and factory made mixtures for floor screeds
based on calcium sulfate. Test methods. Czech Standardization Institute. Prague; 2008
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