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Micro‐reactors to Study Alite Hydration

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A new approach to study the early hydration reaction of alite is presented. It relies on milling micron‐sized gaps into alite grains using a Focused Ion Beam. This provides for a “micro‐reactor” in which hydration in confined conditions can be followed after introducing aqueous solutions of any desired composition. Hydration is followed by stopping the reaction at desired ages using solvent exchange and imaging the gaps using a Scanning Electron Microscope. These micro‐reactors offer several advantages over conventional methods to monitor alite hydration. In particular, we can study the time evolution of dissolution in a reproducible manner using a setup that mimics particles in close contact. This paper presents this new methodology and applies it to studying the effects of solution composition and selected chemical admixtures on the dissolution of alite. New insights into the role of these factors are obtained and discussed.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: May 1, 2015

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