MATEC Web Conf.
Volume 149, 20182nd International Congress on Materials & Structural Stability (CMSS-2017)
|Number of page(s)||3|
|Section||Session 1 : Materials & Pathologies|
|Published online||14 February 2018|
Role of Polycarboxylate-ether superplasticizers on cement hydration kinetics and microstructural development
University of Padua, Department of Geosciences, Padua, Italy
Polycarboxylate-ether (PCE) superplasticizers are a fundamental constituent of modern cementbased materials due to their impact on the rheology of the fresh mix and mechanical performance of the hardened material. The effect of PCEs on cement hydration kinetics has been known since their introduction in the early 1980s. However, detailed knowledge of the role played by PCE macromolecules on the basic mechanisms of cement hydration (dissolution, diffusion, precipitation) is still lacking. A better understanding of how such mechanisms are influenced by the addition of PCE is no doubt beneficial to the design of novel superplasticizing admixtures. Here, I report on some recent findings about the role of PCE superplasticizers on cement hydration kinetics and microstructural development. The interaction between PCE and C3S pastes was investigated by an ad-hoc kinetic model based on a combination of generalized forms of the Avrami and BNG (Boundary Nucleation and Growth) models. The model is used to fit the rate of C-S-H precipitation measured by in-situ X-ray powder diffraction combined with mass balance calculations. The results show that a switch from heterogeneous to homogeneous C-S-H nucleation occurs in the presence of PCEs and that the C-S-H growth rate decreases proportionally to the amount of PCE used. The predicted switch to homogeneous nucleation is in agreement with experimental results obtained by XRD-enhanced micro-tomography imaging, showing that, in the presence of PCE, C-S-H preferentially forms in the pore space rather than at the surface of clinker particles.
© The Authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2018
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
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