Combined effect of chemical nature and fineness of mineral powders on Portland cement hydration


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Title: Combined effect of chemical nature and fineness of mineral powders on Portland cement hydration


Publication: RILEM

Volume: 43

Issue: 5

Appears on pages(s): 665-673

Keywords: Hydration, Calcite, Alumina, Quartzite filler, Silica fume, Fineness

Date: 5/10/2010

This paper focuses on the influence of the chemical nature and the fineness of the fillers on the hydration process and on the compressive strength development. Four different types of fillers are considered in combination with Portland cement: quartzite filler, alumina filler, limestone filler, and silica fume. The study deals with blended mortars having a 0.45 water to powder (cement and filler) ratio with a 10% substitution of cement by filler. Quartzite fillers do not seem to accelerate the hydration process in a significant way. No positive effect is noticed on the strength development either. The presence of a fine inert alumina powder increases the rate of early hydration of Portland cement. The greater the fineness, the faster the rate of hydration heat development. This reactivity leads to an increase in the compressive strength at early age for mortar containing the finest alumina powders. In case of coarse alumina powder, no acceleration effect is obtained. Finely ground limestone (calcite) fillers promote heterogeneous nucleation of hydrates which significantly accelerates hydration. At early age, this also results in an increased mortar compressive strength in comparison with the control mortar. From the obtained results, it is clear that both chemical natures as well as fineness are important with regard to the accelerating effect of the hydration process. With increasing fineness, the accelerating effect increases. For powders with comparable fineness, it is clear that limestone powder has a more significant accelerating effect than silica fume and alumina filler. Quartzite filler seems to have no significant effect.

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