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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle

Revealing the Dark Side of Portlandite Clusters in Cement Paste by Circular Polarization Microscopy

Section Materials and Environment, Faculty of CEG, Delft University of Technology, Stevinweg 1, Delft 2628CN, The Netherlands
Academic Editor: Hong Wong
Materials 2016, 9(3), 176; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma9030176
Received: 1 February 2016 / Revised: 24 February 2016 / Accepted: 26 February 2016 / Published: 8 March 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Image Analysis and Processing for Cement-based Materials)
Plane and crossed polarization are the two standard light modes in polarized light microscopy that are widely used to characterize crystalline and amorphous phases in cement-based materials. However, the use of the crossed polarized light mode has been found to be restrictive for studying birefringent phases quantitatively due to the extinction phenomenon that arises depending on the crystal orientation. This paper introduces circular polarization microscopy as an alternative technique to overcome the extinction problem during the examination of cementitious materials’ microstructure with optical microscopy. In order to evaluate the feasibility of this technique, selected optical and micromorphological features of portlandite clusters were investigated in cement paste. Image analysis results showed that compared to the conventional crossed polarization technique, circular polarization offers significant advantages when portlandite quantification is of interest, and it stands out as a promising low-cost alternative to backscattered electron microscopy. View Full-Text
Keywords: portlandite; circular polarization; image analysis; concrete microscopy; characterization; optical microscopy portlandite; circular polarization; image analysis; concrete microscopy; characterization; optical microscopy
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Çopuroğlu, O. Revealing the Dark Side of Portlandite Clusters in Cement Paste by Circular Polarization Microscopy. Materials 2016, 9, 176.

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