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Advances in Materials Science and Engineering
Volume 2016, Article ID 7062624, 12 pages
Research Article

Influence of Curing Humidity on the Compressive Strength of Gypsum-Cemented Similar Materials

1State Key Laboratory of Coal Resources and Safe Mining, China University of Mining and Technology, Xuzhou, Jiangsu 221008, China
2College of Geological and Mining Engineering, Xinjiang University, Urumqi, Xinjiang 830000, China

Received 19 July 2016; Revised 11 October 2016; Accepted 13 October 2016

Academic Editor: Hossein Moayedi

Copyright © 2016 Weiming Guan et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The analogous simulation experiment is widely used in geotechnical and mining engineering. However, systematic errors derived from unified standard curing procedure have been underestimated to some extent. In this study, 140 gypsum-cemented similar material specimens were chosen to study their curing procedure with different relative humidity, which is 10%–15%, 40%, 60%, and 80%, respectively. SEM microstructures and XRD spectra were adopted to detect the correlation between microstructures and macroscopic mechanical strength during curing. Our results indicated that the needle-like phases of similar materials began to develop in the early stage of the hydration process through intersecting with each other and eventually transformed into mat-like phases. Increase of humidity may inhibit the development of needle-like phases; thus the compressive strength changes more smoothly, and the time required for the material strength to reach the peak value will be prolonged. The peak strength decreases along with the increase of humidity while the humidity is higher than 40%; however, the reverse tendency was observed if the humidity was lower than 40%. Finally, we noticed that the material strength usually reaches the peak value when the water content continuously reduces and tends towards stability. Based on the above observation, a curing method determination model and experimental strength predication method for gypsum-cemented similar materials were proposed.