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Issue 13, 2006
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Hydration of tricalcium aluminate (C3A) in the presence and absence of gypsum—studied by Raman spectroscopy and X-ray diffraction

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Abstract

Raman spectroscopy has been used to follow the hydration of one of the principal components of Ordinary Portland Cement (OPC) clinkers, tricalcium aluminate, both in the absence and in the presence of calcium sulfate. Direct in-situ analysis of the hydrating paste surface was possible. Spectra were recorded regularly during the first 24 hours of hydration, and then systematically after hydration periods of up to 28 days. X-Ray diffraction was performed to confirm sample identity, firstly after 24 hours and then regularly in coordination with Raman analysis. Hydration in the absence of sulfate was rapid and led to the initial formation of C4AH19 and subsequently C3AH6. Characteristic changes were seen in the Raman spectra and the products' identities confirmed by XRD. Hydration in the presence of sulfate led to very rapid ettringite (AFt) formation, with the first evidence of ettringite formation within 3 minutes. Ettringite gradually converted to monosulfate (AFm), with the re-formation of traces of gypsum at high sulfate contents. Ettringite was formed at the expense of C4AH19. The level of C4AH19 formed diminished greatly with increasing sulfate content. Care was taken throughout the study to exclude carbon dioxide, thus minimising formation of various carbonate species, which could also be readily distinguished by Raman spectroscopy. By combining the results obtained using the well-established technique of X-ray diffraction with Raman spectroscopy, in-situ characterisation of hydrating pastes has been achieved in real-time. In addition to demonstrating the suitability of Raman spectroscopy for analysis of these systems this study should aid the understanding of tricalcium aluminate hydration and the formation of ettringite and monosulfate.

Graphical abstract: Hydration of tricalcium aluminate (C3A) in the presence and absence of gypsum—studied by Raman spectroscopy and X-ray diffraction

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Publication details

The article was received on 12 Jul 2005, accepted on 15 Dec 2005 and first published on 11 Jan 2006


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/B509904H
Citation: J. Mater. Chem., 2006,16, 1263-1272
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    Hydration of tricalcium aluminate (C3A) in the presence and absence of gypsum—studied by Raman spectroscopy and X-ray diffraction

    L. Black, C. Breen, J. Yarwood, C.-S. Deng, J. Phipps and G. Maitland, J. Mater. Chem., 2006, 16, 1263
    DOI: 10.1039/B509904H

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