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Open AccessArticle

Investigation of Three-Dimensional Microstructure of Tricalcium Silicate (C3S) by Electron Microscopy

1
School of Materials Science and Engineering, Tongji University, Shanghai 201804, China
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Key Laboratory of Advanced Civil Engineering Materials (Tongji University), Ministry of Education, Shanghai 201804, China
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London Centre for Nanotechnology, University College London, London WC1H 0AH, UK
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Division of Condensed Matter Physics and Materials Science, Brookhaven National Laboratory, Upton, NY 11973, USA
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Materials 2018, 11(7), 1110; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma11071110
Received: 25 May 2018 / Revised: 18 June 2018 / Accepted: 27 June 2018 / Published: 29 June 2018
A serial block-face scanning electron microscopy (SBFSEM) system, composed of a scanning electron microscope (SEM) and an ultra-microtome installed within the SEM vacuum chamber, has been used to characterize the three-dimensional (3D) microstructure of tricalcium silicate (C3S) grains embedded in epoxy resin. A selection of C3S grains were segmented and rendered with 3D-image processing software, which allowed the C3S grains to be clearly visualized and enabled statistically quantitative analysis. The results show that about 5% of the C3S grains have volumes larger than 1 μm3 and the average volume of the grains is 25 μm3. Pores can also be clearly seen in the biggest C3S grain, the volume of which is 3.6 × 104 μm3, and the mean volume and total volume of all the pores within this grain are 4.8 μm3 and 3.0 × 103 μm3, respectively. The reported work provides a new approach for the characterization of the 3D spatial structure of raw C3S materials, and the resulting 3D structure of the raw C3S is important for further systematic research on the relationships between the spatial microstructure and the hydration kinetics of C3S and other cement minerals. View Full-Text
Keywords: serial block-face scanning electron microscopy (SBFSEM); three-dimensional (3D) structure; porosity; tricalcium silicate (C3S) serial block-face scanning electron microscopy (SBFSEM); three-dimensional (3D) structure; porosity; tricalcium silicate (C3S)
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MDPI and ACS Style

Yang, F.; Liu, X.; Zhao, Y.; Zhang, Y.; Wang, P.; Robinson, I.; Chen, B. Investigation of Three-Dimensional Microstructure of Tricalcium Silicate (C3S) by Electron Microscopy. Materials 2018, 11, 1110.

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