Direct observation of void evolution during cement hydration

Masoud Moradian, Qinang Hu, Mohammed Aboustait, M. Tyler Ley, Jay C. Hanan, Xianghui Xiao, George W. Scherer, Zhidong Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


This paper follows the hydration of both portland cement and tricalcium silicate pastes between 30 min and 16 h of hydration. In-situ fast X-ray computed tomography (fCT) was used to make direct observations of the air-filled void formation in w/s of 0.40 to 0.70 with a micron resolution. The results show that over the first hour of the acceleration period the volume of air-filled voids reaches a maximum value and then decreases during the acceleration period and stays constant. The void distribution changes from a few coarse voids to a large number of smaller and more uniformly distributed voids. This behavior is suggested to be controlled by changes in the ionic strength that cause exsolution of dissolved air from the pore solution.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)137-149
Number of pages13
JournalMaterials and Design
StatePublished - Dec 15 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Materials Science
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


  • Calorimetry
  • Cement hydration
  • Exsolution
  • Induction period
  • Void evolution
  • X-ray computed tomography


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