A new model for the C-S-H phase formed during the hydration of Portland cements

A model is developed to explain why the calcium silicate hydrate (C-S-H) phase that grows during the hydration of Portland cements initially requires a high water content, much of which is lost by gentle drying. It is proposed that the rapid growth of C-S-H during the hydration of alite (C₃S) in Portland cements initially occurs by adsorption of fully hydrated aqueous calcium cations onto anhydrous anionic basal sheets of a silicate-deficient (dimeric) tobermorite-like composition. Both divalent (Ca²+) and univalent (CaOH+) solvated cations are incorporated to balance the negative charge of the basal sheet, leading to significant structural disorder, explaining the poorly-crystalline nature of the C-S-H formed. Some of the solvation water is lost irreversibly on first drying due to the formation of Si-O-Ca-O-Si bridges, explaining irreversible shrinkage. The initially-formed C-S-H is metastable relative to a form with longer silicate chains, towards which it may slowly evolve with separation of water and CH.


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  • Accession Number: 01637785
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jun 5 2017 6:05PM