Solubility of Sulfates in High SO3 Clinkers


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Title: Solubility of Sulfates in High SO3 Clinkers

Author(s): V. Michaud and R. Suderman

Publication: Special Publication

Volume: 177


Appears on pages(s): 15-26

Keywords: anhydrite; calcium; clinker; durability; rheology; workability

Date: 1/1/1999

Changes in the cement manufacturing process such as the use of higher sulfur fuels have tended to raise clinker sulfate levels and SO3/alkali ratios. As a consequence, interground gypsum additions to cement have dropped because more sulfate is available from the clinker. Also, these clinker sulfates tend to be available as double sulfate salts; calcium langbeinite instead of potassium sulfate. What is the impact of clinkers with high SO, level on concrete performance; mainly on its workability and durability ? The aim of this study is to provide some answers to this question. Cements made from either high SO, clinker or low SO, clinker and gypsum or hemihydrate, but with a given chemical composition, have been simulated by pure phase materials and hydrated up to one hour. Calcium langbeinite is rapidly dissolved. Because of its dissolution rate and ability to form “blocking ettringite”, high calcium langbeinite clinkers should provide improved rheological properties. Moreover, cements made with clinkers containing significant quantities of calcium langbeinite should have a similar workability and durability to a cement made with a low sulfate clinker to which larger quantities of gypsum have been added. The dissolution rate of anhydrite potentially existing in very high SO3/alkali clinker has also been simulated. Experiments indicate that it dissolves and reacts quite quickly so that it should not provide any durability problem if present in cement and concrete.