This study investigated the hydration characteristics and strength development of calcium sulfoaluminate-belite (CSAB) cements incorporating calcium carbonate (CC) powders with various particle size distributions and different gypsum amounts. In general, the CSAB hydration was accelerated by the CC powder, but the acceleration and resulting strength improvement were more effective with finer CC powder. Regardless of the fineness of the CC powder, it took part in the hydration of CSAB cement, forming hemicarboaluminate and monocarboaluminate phases. These hydration and nucleation effects compensated for the strength reduction from decreased cementing components (i.e., dilution effect) when finer CC powders were used, while they did not overcome the strength reduction when coarser CC powder was used. On the other hand, increasing the amount of gypsum for a given CC content improved the strength. The strength of CSAB cement had a clear inverse relationship with its total pore volume measured by mercury intrusion porosimetry (MIP). Thermodynamic modeling for CSAB cement hydration showed that the use of CC powder increased total volume of solid phases up to 6 wt % at a given amount of gypsum.
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