Lightweight Structural Concrete
Using of Lightweight concrete (LWC) amounts to a lower cost and a better thermal performance due to its unique properties and light density. The main disadvantage in using lightweight concrete is that its mechanical properties are relatively poor. An effective method to improve the mechanical properties of lightweight concrete is using a dosage of nano-silica in the concrete mix. The gained enhancement of mechanical properties promotes a more serious discussion of structural applications of lightweight concrete. There exists an optimum dosage of nano-silica by which the mechanical properties enhancement is maximized. Increasing the nano-silica content beyond the optimum dosage degrades the mechanical properties. However, a fixed optimum dosage is not agreed upon in literature. This paper investigates the optimum dosage of NS to enhance the mechanical properties and microstructure of a lightweight concrete made with lightweight expanded clay aggregates (LECA). The results concluded that a dosage of 0.75% of nano-silica is optimum for the studied lightweight concrete mixes.