Early hydration and setting of oil well cement

Jie Zhang, Emily A. Weissinger, Sulapha Peethamparan, George W. Scherer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

203 Scopus citations


A broad experimental study has been performed to characterize the early hydration and setting of cement pastes prepared with Class H oil well cement at water-to-cement ratios (w/c) from 0.25 to 0.40, cured at temperatures from 10 to 60 °C, and mixed with chemical additives. Chemical shrinkage during hydration was measured by a newly developed system, degree of hydration was determined by thermogravimetric analysis, and setting time was tested by Vicat and ultrasonic velocity measurements. A Boundary Nucleation and Growth model provides a good fit to the chemical shrinkage data. Temperature increase and accelerator additions expedite the rate of cement hydration by causing more rapid nucleation of hydration products, leading to earlier setting; conversely, retarder and viscosity modifying agents delay cement nucleation, causing later setting times. Lower w/c paste needs less hydration product to form a percolating solid network (i.e., to reach the initial setting point). However, for the systems evaluated, at a given w/c, the degree of hydration at setting is a constant, regardless of the effects of ambient temperature or the presence of additives.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1023-1033
Number of pages11
JournalCement and Concrete Research
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Building and Construction
  • General Materials Science


  • A. Hydration
  • A. Kinetics
  • A. Workability
  • C. Shrinkage
  • D. Admixture


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