Cement and Concrete Research
Experimental work has been done to determine changes in the particle shape of portlandite grown in the presence of different ions. To quantify the experimentally observed changes in morphology a new analysis tool was developed, allowing the calculation of the relative surface energies of the crystal facets. The observed morphology in the presence of chlorides and nitrates was facetted particles of a similar shape, the addition of sulfates leads to hexagonal platelet morphology and the addition of silicates leads to the formation of large irregular aggregates. In addition to the experimental work, the surfaces of portlandite were studied with atomistic simulation techniques. The empirical force field used has first been validated. The equilibrium morphology of portlandite in vacuum and in water was then calculated. The results indicate that the presence of water stabilizes the [20.3] surface and changes the morphology. This is consistent with the experimental observation of [20.3] surfaces.