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Materials 2016, 9(9), 745; doi:10.3390/ma9090745

A Scanning Transmission X-ray Microscopy Study of Cubic and Orthorhombic C3A and Their Hydration Products in the Presence of Gypsum

Berkeley Education Alliance for Research in Singapore–BEARS, Singapore 138602, Singapore
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA
Department of Civil Engineering, Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre 90035-190, RS, Brazil
Polytechnic School of Civil Engineering, IMED, Passo Fundo 99070-220, Brazil
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Jorge de Brito
Received: 20 June 2016 / Revised: 10 August 2016 / Accepted: 23 August 2016 / Published: 31 August 2016
(This article belongs to the Section Advanced Composites)
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This paper shows the microstructural differences and phase characterization of pure phases and hydrated products of the cubic and orthorhombic (Na-doped) polymorphs of tricalcium aluminate (C3A), which are commonly found in traditional Portland cements. Pure, anhydrous samples were characterized using scanning transmission X-ray microscopy (STXM), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and X-ray diffraction (XRD) and demonstrated differences in the chemical and mineralogical composition as well as the morphology on a micro/nano-scale. C3A/gypsum blends with mass ratios of 0.2 and 1.9 were hydrated using a water/C3A ratio of 1.2, and the products obtained after three days were assessed using STXM. The hydration process and subsequent formation of calcium sulfate in the C3A/gypsum systems were identified through the changes in the LIII edge fine structure for Calcium. The results also show greater Ca LII binding energies between hydrated samples with different gypsum contents. Conversely, the hydrated samples from the cubic and orthorhombic C3A at the same amount of gypsum exhibited strong morphological differences but similar chemical environments. View Full-Text
Keywords: tricalcium aluminate; gypsum; scanning transmission X-ray microscopy; hydration tricalcium aluminate; gypsum; scanning transmission X-ray microscopy; hydration

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Rheinheimer, V.; Chae, S.R.; Rodríguez, E.D.; Geng, G.; Kirchheim, A.P.; Monteiro, P.J.M. A Scanning Transmission X-ray Microscopy Study of Cubic and Orthorhombic C3A and Their Hydration Products in the Presence of Gypsum. Materials 2016, 9, 745.

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