This study investigated the influence of different cooling regimes on the microstructure and consequent reactivity of belite-sulfoaluminate clinkers. The cement clinkers were synthesized by incorporating secondary raw materials, such as titanogypsum and bottom ash, to the natural raw materials. Clinker phases were determined by Rietveld quantitative phase analysis, while the distribution morphology and the incorporation of substitute ions in the phases were characterized by scanning electron microscopy using energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (SEM/EDS). Clinker reactivity was studied using isothermal calorimetry and was additionally investigated through compressive strength, which was determined for the cement prepared from the synthesized clinkers. X-ray diffraction analysis showed that, as well as the three main phases (belite, calcium sulfoaluminate, and ferrite), the clinkers contained additional minor phases (mayenite, gehlenite, arkanite, periclase, and perovskite), the ratios of which varied according to the cooling regime utilized. Microscopic observations indicated that the cooling regime also influenced the crystal size and morphology of the main phases, which consequently affected clinker reactivity. Furthermore, a smaller amount of substitute elements was incorporated in the main phases when cooling was slowed. Results showed that, in comparison to clinkers cooled at slower rates, air quenched clinkers reacted faster and exhibited a higher compressive strength at 7 days.
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