Sun – Early-Age Microstructural Evolution of Cement Pastes

Giri Venkiteela and Zhihui Sun


University of Louisville

Louisville, KY 40292


Having the solid knowledge on the evolution of early age concrete properties is essential to guarantee the quality and the performance of concrete. In early age, concrete properties (setting and hardening etc.) are governed by its cement paste properties. In fresh concrete, during hydration, cement paste hardens and bonds the aggregates together. In these processes, the evolution of cement paste’s microstructure plays a major role in concrete, which is a function of cement particles dispersion, flocculation, agglomeration and variety of other reactions. However, it is still unclear, how these developments in cement paste microstructure influence the concrete. Thus, observing the cement particles growth during early age will greatly help in fundamental understanding of cement paste’s microstructure development. In this study, using a conventional scanning electron microscope (SEM), with the help of a new sample preparation technique called Quantomix WETSEMTM, real observations were made on the early age microstructure evolution of cement pastes. Based on the experimental work conclusions were drawn for different cement pastes microstructure developments.  

Civil and Environmental Engineering Department

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