Insight into the microstructural and durability characteristics of 3D printed concrete: Cast versus printed specimens

Pawel Sikora, Mateusz Techman, Karol Federowicz, Ahmed M. El-Khayatt, H. A. Saudi, Mohamed Abd Elrahman, Marcin Hoffmann, Dietmar Stephan, Sang Yeop Chung

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


This study presents the comparison of microstructural and durability characteristics of 3D printed concrete (3DPC) depending on its production method (printing or casting). Printed samples with different numbers of layers, as well as a cast specimen with an identical mix composition, were produced and compared, with their microstructural pore and solid characteristics quantitatively and qualitatively investigated. For this purpose, scanning electron microscopy (SEM), mercury intrusion porosimetry (MIP) and X-ray micro-computed tomography (micro-CT) were utilized to evaluate the microstructures of the 3DPC. In particular, quantitative approaches using micro-CT data were newly proposed for a better understanding of the microstructural characteristics of 3DPC. Moreover, their durability-related characteristics and transport properties, including freeze-thaw and thermal resistance, were examined and compared. Despite noticeable differences between the microstructures of the printed and cast specimens, including their anisotropic and inter-layer porosity and heterogeneity, confirmed by MIP, SEM and micro-CT, no significant differences in the transport (capillary water porosity and water sorptivity) or durability-related properties (frost and thermal attack) were found. This was due to the dense and homogenous microstructure of 3DPC, which is attributable to the high binder content and low w/b of the mixture. Moreover, the newly proposed evaluation provided reasonable quantitative and qualitative characteristics, which can be used to demonstrate and predict the material properties of 3DPC.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere01320
JournalCase Studies in Construction Materials
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Dec

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All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Materials Science (miscellaneous)


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