Very high strength concretes with water-cement ratios ranging from 0.21 to 0.27, having compressive strengths varying between 73 and 118 MPa, were prepared. One series was made with only high early strength cement (Type III), and the other series contained 6% to 11% silica fume.
In general, the microstructure of very high strength concrete is very dense and is composed mainly of C-S-H in the gel and crystalline phases. Mg, Al, S, Cl, K and Fe were detected in a number of C-S-H locales. The Ca/Si ratio was variable. In concretes without silica fume, the CH content is much lower than in normal concrete, and in the silica fume concretes it is still lower and not well crystallized. A few large, partly reacted and unreacted silica fume particles with surface cracks were present.
Strong cement-aggregate bonding is seen in concretes with silica fume containing limestone aggregates, whereas the gravel concretes show microcracks and a weaker bonding.