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Valentini L.,University of Padua | Valentini L.,Center for the Study of Cement Materials | Dalconi M.C.,University of Padua | Dalconi M.C.,Center for the Study of Cement Materials | And 5 more authors.
Journal of Applied Crystallography | Year: 2011

Quantitative characterization of the microstructure of cement-based materials is of fundamental importance for assessing the performance and durability of the final products. However, accessing the three-dimensional microstructural information of hydrating cement pastes without introducing any perturbation is not trivial. Recently, a novel non-invasive method based on X-ray diffraction computed microtomography (XRD-CT) has been applied to cement-based materials, with the aim of describing the three-dimensional spatial distribution of selected phases during the hydration of the cement paste. This paper illustrates a method based on XRD-CT, combined with Rietveld-based quantitative phase analysis and image processing, which provides quantitative information relative to the distribution of the various phases present in the studied samples. In particular, it is shown how this method allows the estimation of the local volume fraction of the phase ettringite within a hydrating cement paste, and construction of a three-dimensional distribution map. Application of this method to the various constituents of a cementitious material, or, more generally, of a composite polycrystalline material, may provide a non-invasive tool for three-dimensional microstructural quantitative characterization. © 2011 International Union of Crystallography Printed in Singapore - all rights reserved.

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