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Role of a Small Addition of Acetic Acid on the Setting Behavior and on the Microstructure of a Calcium Aluminate Cement

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In order to be able to monitor dispersion and setting of cements, admixtures can be added, which usually can consist of large organic molecules. Here, the choice is different since small organic molecules have been used as in ceramic processing. This work concerns the preparation of calcium aluminate cement paste in the presence of acetic acid; the water to cement mass ratio is equal to 0.6 and the acid to cement mass ratio, , ranges between 0 and 0.05. This admixture can have either a retarding or an accelerating effect on cement setting. The retarding effect is because of adsorption of acetate complexes, CaCH3CO2+ positively charged, at the surface of CA particles, negatively charged, which leads to the delay (slowing down) of dissolution; it can reach 52 h (case of ). When , there is a remarkable accelerating effect. The setting starts 2 h after mixing the cement with the liquid and is fairly constant for higher acetic acid contents. This rapid setting in acid conditions is because of the formation of hydrated calcium acetate in very low quantities and possibly gibbsite; the setting mechanism is quite different since there is no formation of conventional calcium and aluminum hydrates. As an example, with the highest amount of HOAc ( ), no CxAyHz type of calcium aluminum hydrate is formed after aging for 4 days at 20°C and 95% relative humidity. There is also a densifying effect of acetic acid; the open porosity of set samples left to age for 4 days at 20°C and 95% relative humidity decreases from 35 to 25 vol% when goes from 0 to 0.005 and remains relatively constant afterwards. Lastly, this decrease in the porosity continues with aging time; at 6 months, we obtain values as low as 9 vol% in samples where .
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Groupe d'Etude des Matériaux Hétérogènes (EA 3178), Ecole Nationale Supérieure de Céramique Industrielle, 87065 Limoges cedex, France 2: Science des Procédés Céramiques et Traitements de Surface (UMR CNRS 6638), Faculté des Sciences, 87065 Limoges cedex, France 3: Laboratoire de Chimie du Solide Minéral, Faculté des Sciences Semlalia, 40000 Marrakech, Morocco

Publication date: 2005-08-01

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